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Trust Building in Business Teams: Definition, Activities & Exercises

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  • 0:05 Teamwork and Trust
  • 0:29 Building Trust in a…
  • 2:13 Trust Building Activities
  • 3:53 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Paul Mckinney

Paul has been in higher education for 17 years. He has a master's degree and is earning his PhD in Community College Leadership.

Trust building in business teams is essential to any organization. Team building activities can help members of the team trust one another. Trust within a team can build quickly with the right activities.

Teamwork and Trust

When individuals with similar goals come together, a team is formed. Every individual should contribute equally and perform at their highest level to meet the team's targets and achieve the organization's goal. Trust building in a business team is the process of bringing all the members together and creating trust based on activities and exercises.

Building Trust in a Business Team

As stated by John Castro, the former CEO of Merrill Corporation, 'Trust is critical in business because it can make or break a team, and business can no longer survive without teams.' Therefore, trust is critical for every business. Team trust is a collective choice of individuals willing to commit to a new, shared way of working. Creating high levels of trust among team members requires leadership and a conscious choice to invest in establishing trust. There are four foundational principles to consider when building trust in a business team.

  1. Establish and maintain integrity
  2. Communicate vision and values
  3. Consider all team members as equal partners
  4. Do the right thing

Integrity is the foundation of trust in any organization. It's important for any team to have integrity so that trust can quickly build over time. By communicating the organization's vision, management defines where it's going. By communicating its values, the methods for getting to this goal are established. Teams need this critical information so they can set the right direction and build trust among the members. Trust is established when everyone feels important and part of the team, even the newest rookie, the part-timer, or the lowest paid employee. This begins with managers seeking opinions and ideas, and giving credit for them, from team members and using them when appropriate. The importance of doing what's right in nearly every situation is that acting consistently and conscientiously can create respect for those around us. From this respect, you will gain trust from your fellow team members.

Trust Building Activities

There are several different activities and exercises that can help teams learn to increase their trust level with one another. One of the most effective team trust building activities is an obstacle course. These 2- to 5-day programs are offered to business and organizational teams by independent training organizations. Team members are put through an obstacle course that will require them to count on their fellow team members to get through. As they advance through the obstacle course, they work together, find each other's strengths, and ultimately finish the course with a great amount of respect and trust for one another.

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