AUG 22 2019 - EMPHASIS: Teams and Trust

Studies now in academic, business and other organizational setting have now shown that what differentiates high performing teams who sustainably deliver outstanding results is the existence of a culture that is both a) psychologically safe (i.e. where team members feel trusted, respected and heard) and b) has high goals/expectations.

No trust, then very stressful environment that delivers for a while but leads to various forms of burnout.

No high goals/expectations and then you have a team that all get along but deliver mediocre results.

The trick is being a leader who can build both high trust/high psych safety and motivating/stretching goals. And it seems that the secret ingredient is a) a leader who can make himself/herself vulnerable (i.e. be authentically a human in front of his/her team) and b) a leader who attends to building the trust of the team members with him/her and with each other over time, starting with first the capacity to trust each other (for real), then the capacity to disagree respectfully (without attacks or hard feelings), then a sense of shared commitment and accountability for results….

Below you will find some materials for you to review.

Note: Item 8 is a sample high performing team overview that I would usually provide to consulting clients interested in getting started with a team intervention. It gives you a sense of the possible elements of our accelerated development plan forward, as well as may give you a blueprint for some of the things you may be doing with your own team to develop them as individuals and as a team.

Enjoy! Dorian


arch of engagement.png

1. Judith Glaser’s Arc of Engagement - it is helpful to self-assess where you stand in your initial interactions and where you think the individuals you are engaging with may stand vis-a-vis the Arc of Engagement. This is a good framework to use with a team who is wanting to start to open up the conversation re trust with each other. No spot on the arc is better or worse than another. It simply allows everyone to have a shared model of the reality: that people have different ways of bestowing trust when they first meet or when they first engage even with an idea. Some of us start in the resistor or skeptic zone and need to build up a bank of trust over time, others start immediately in the high trust area and with them the bank gets depleted over time if things occur that show them that they shouldn’t have trusted so much. And yet a third general grouping finds themselves in the pragmatic wait&see area. Having each person identify their preferred opening position and then sharing that with each other and reflecting together about the implications on how that shows up in day to day work, when the stakes get high, with family vs work, etc. is a great way to break the ice on all this.

Then in a subsequent session, you can also examine how to move towards more high trust ongoing team dynamics so as to accelerate results, mutual accountability, innovation without pushing those on the team that prefer the resistor/skeptic side to suddenly have to approach everything as a lovely big experiment that must be co-created ! :-)

2. Lencioni Infographic 5 Dysfunctions of a team

3.  Lencioni Anime' Appendix with summary on steps to take to build trust, encourage generative conflict/disagreement, etc

4. Lencioni Construct 2-pages

5. Amy Edmondson’s Ted Talk on Trust, Motivation, Stretch goals and High Performance


6. HBR article on The Neuroscience of Trust by Paul Zak

7. If you who would like to read the full book by Patrick Lencioni……

I recommend reading the manga edition as it captures the essence of the regular business book and you can read it in 45 minutes to an hour.







8. The map of a journey for a team leader and his/her team - overview presentation