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5 Steps to Building Trust Between Team Members

Talk of trust-building and teamwork in the office may sound a bit touchy-feely to some. These terms connote awkward exercises and ridiculous activities right out of a Dilbert cartoon. Instead, let’s think about trust in a professional sense.

Professional trust is not about catching a teammate as he falls back or boosting a colleague at a rope-climbing contest. Professional trust is about sending the message to your team members that you believe in their competence, honesty, and good intentions. It’s about competence, communication, and commitment. How can you encourage professional trust among your teammates?

Address Conflict Directly

When people work together day in and day out, inevitably one person will rub another the wrong way on occasion. When someone on your team is doing something that bothers you, speak directly to that person. Complaining to others, reporting petty annoyances to the manager or talking about the annoyance behind the person’s back will destroy trust. Talking to the person directly builds trust by sending the message: I value our working relationship


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