Archive for the 'Team dynamics' Category

Creating trust in the workplace

Recent events in Australian politics have touched, or should I say ploughed, in to an area of leadership and team performance that I think is at the heart of teams failing or excelling. I’ve been watching the moves and words that have been used by the politicians and wondering how trust can be rebuilt at all levels – within the Labour party and also with the public.

Rather than this being a political statement I’d like to focus on what creates or destroys trust and the impact it has on a leader and their teams effectiveness.

As I mentioned in a previous blog we all believe ourselves to be trustworthy. This goes with believing we’re honest, candid and behave in a way that is appropriate. So if this is the case how can trust break down?

I think there are a few behaviours that are needed for trust to be created.

1. Words and actions need to be congruent and consistent – as soon as there is a discrepancy in what is said and done then trust begins to erode

2. There needs to be a basis of respect that emanates through the words and actions. In other words there needs to be a level of acknowledgment of each persons contribution and position

3. Where conflict occurs focus on the issue – find ways to listen to opposing views and address the issue rather than attack the person

One of the most important aspects of building or destroying trust are the symbolic acts that are seen by others. In politics we see many symbols of things being done where trust is eroded. I’m not sure we see many acts that build trust as these symbolic acts often lack authenticity.

Taking this in to an organisational environment there is much that we can learn from watching the politicians. Unfortunately it would seem we can learn more about what not to do rather than what to do. I’d therefore be taking the experience of the last few weeks to question what behaviours leaders can develop and teams use to build trust.

And may be – having observed the politicians you have ideas on things that have happened recently that have built trust. I’d be interested to hear about what you’ve seen.


Applying the 5 languages of love in the workplace

Ok, so some of you may be asking yourselves what on earth the 5 languages of love can have to do with strengthening (PROFESSIONAL) relationships in the workplace. Without turning soft on you I’m going to argue that they can be translated in to the workplace and that they do make a difference to the quality of our relationships.

The 5 love languages – formed by Gary Chapman distinguish between the different ways people show and receive love. We tend to have a preferred language. In many cases they are the symbolic displays that show we love and are loved. So how can they be applied at work? Continue reading ‘Applying the 5 languages of love in the workplace’

Is trust a dirty word?

When working with leaders and teams to strengthen working relationships we often stumble across how important trust is to us as individuals. Yet so often I see people squirm when it comes to having discussions about what trust means to them in the workplace.

If you accept, as most people do when probed, that having or not having trust makes a difference to the way work is done, the environment it is done in and the results that are achieved; why do we react as though it’s a dirty word? Continue reading ‘Is trust a dirty word?’

Overcoming barriers to project success

Imagine the situation…….. You are given responsibility for a major project in the business and in your early discussions you are told about the deadlines that need to be achieved, the financial implications of success and the complexity of the project. Some members of the project team have already been appointed but your first task will be to recruit more people in to the team to meet your first deadline.

In other words, the pressure is on. Continue reading ‘Overcoming barriers to project success’