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Raise the trust level

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in Leaders & Managers,Team Building

Some groups get along fine, only to rupture when clashing interests or disagreements over roles and responsibilities undermine collective effort. That’s when they no longer operate in good faith.

Ideally, you want everyone to trust each other to the extent that people take risks and sacrifice for the greater good. In the absence of such trust, individual needs will trump group goals.

You cannot instill trust if people are apathetic. So gauge each team member’s motivation from the start. Assemble a team in which each participant cares.

“Sometimes, it’s better to keep a strong performer off a team because that person isn’t interested in the mission,” a manager tells us. “I’d rather put someone on a team who’s a little less skilled, but more driven to help everyone hit the target.”

Beware of these trouble signs:

Showboats reject good ideas. Some would-be leaders seem to think they should call all the shots. Rather than allow these self-styled “idea mavens” to brush aside others’ ideas, make sure they dignify contributions from all participants.

Credit hogs bicker. High-trust teams don’t waste time worrying who will get the credit for success. Everyone be-lieves rewards will rain down on everyone—equally.

People expect to fail. If you hear teams fret about “what’s bound to happen when we screw up,” such pessimism can derail progress. Healthy skepticism is fine. But when teammates feed off each other’s assurance that they’re ill-equipped to succeed, it gives everyone an excuse to fail.

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