Do you work with other people on a day in, day out basis? Do the people you work with trust one another? Why? Or, why not?
One of the most important aspects of building a solid team is knowing that you can trust those alongside you. Whether you are starting an organization from scratch or inheriting a leadership position that has been around for 150 years (or more), the people around you must trust you, and must trust one another, if you are to move forward in a positive direction.
If you are going to build trust among those you work with, try asking some simple questions. Get people together in the same room. Eat a meal. Play a game. Create an occasion where everyone has the opportunity to share a little bit about themselves. Ask for three to five non-invasive bits of information, such as the number of siblings each person has, what their first was, best family vacation, or favorite type of music. Keep it simple, listen, and do your best to hang on to those bits of information. This information might not factor in to your strategic plan, but it will help you to better understand one another.
Trust is foundational for pursuing a goal or a dream. I think of my friends who are charged with leading churches that have amassed years of tradition, are very proud of where they have been, but have little idea of where they are going before Jesus returns. At some point in their history they stopped asking questions concerning how God was making all things new in their city, town, or neighborhood, and the part they had to play. Instead of starting a new initiative, or waiting a year before launching your first dream (the “do nothing in your first year” rule), get to know people. Build trust. Develop relationships. Ask questions. Be intentional. And don’t just do this so that you get to know people better. Facilitate these conversations in the presence of a group of those you lead. You might be amazed at what your people might learn from and about one another.
Once you have established some level of trust, move on from there.
(To read more about this, check out this leadership book. Not bad.)