Patrick Lencioni, the author of the bestselling book “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” says “Remember teamwork begins by building trust”. Trust is the foundation of his team building model, for without it all other measures are at best limited in their effectiveness. He then goes further in saying that teamwork is the chief ingredient that gives an organisation a competitive edge “Not finance! Not strategy! Not technology! It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive, both because it is so powerful and so rare”.
So then, if teamwork is foundational to success, and trust is foundational to teamwork, it seems pretty important to me that we make every endeavour to ensure trust building is firmly and constantly on the agenda of any team. After many years working in teams, leading teams, and consulting with teams, I concur with Lencioni’s conclusions about the rarity of good teamwork, and in particular the absence of trust within teams.
So, what to do about it! It’s one thing to acknowledge the need to build trust, and it’s quite another to know how to go about it. In fact, it’s a messy business. In a recent blog post I wrote on Behavioural Styles and Leadership Dimensions, I mentioned the impact of differing behavioural styles on workplace effectiveness. We all have differing priorities according to our individual styles, which makes working together complex.
Along the same line of thought, because we are wired differently, perhaps there are differing behaviours that will help build trust with some, but not necessarily with others. Again, it’s a complex issue. However, there is some good news.
Keith Ayers, from the Integro Learning Company, has developed “The Integro Trust Model” to help us understand the dimensions that build trust, measure trust levels within our teams, and create trust building strategies.
In short, the model is based on four behaviours that build trust, and eight values (two for each behaviour), that undergird these behaviours. It’s not only a matter of adopting behaviours but embracing values. All dimensions are important, but individuals will tend to use only one or two as their preferences. The key is to understand which dimensions are required in any given scenario, not just to defer to our preferences.
In short, the dimensions of The Integro Trust Model are seen in the diagram below:
The key of course, is to understand where your team is currently doing well, and which of these behaviours and values do we need to embrace in order to improve. Because teams are always dynamic, it’s not uncommon to see a team effectively build trust where there has been a lack thereof. Likewise, I have seen teams that once had strong dimensions of trust, erode that trust over time. It’s all about consistent behaviour. I find to have a model such as this is a great resource to help measure and monitor as an ongoing, intentional, guide to building trust.
One more thought! I mentioned we will have differing preferences according to our individual style. Let me ask you three questions for you to ponder:
- Of the four behaviours, which two come most easily for you?
- Which one takes the most energy for you?
- What values may you have to embrace to personally build trust with others in your team.
At Australian Coaching Collective we carry accreditations in the Integro Trust Model and associated resources and are able to offer profiling and training workshops in Building High Performance Teams. Feel free to make contact.