Building Trust in an Existing Team

I have been thinking about my blog on building trust on a team and the techniques really work for a new team or group.  How about a team that has been working together for some time but some issues of trust exist?  What kind of a process would work with a team that is very busy and really does not have time to spend on such issues?

The first thing to consider is that not having time really means the item is not a priority.  So if trust is not a priority then the team does not consider the team as important as their individual priorities.  I also suspect that these issues make people uncomfortable.   I suspect the potential for the team to screw up is very likely.  

I think at that point the leader needs to realize that the trust issue must be raised in priority and processes needed to be initiated.

The key I believe in trust is each member understanding more about the other members.  Their background and their strengths and weaknesses.  Each member needs to be open about the issues they have with other team members and the team members needs to help each other. 

If a person just cannot become part of the team and chose not to work on the issues, the leader must deal with the choice the person has made.  Sometimes the person is really a key member but if they will not be a part of the team, they really are choosing not to be part of the group.

In the end, the team needs to be committed to the goal of the team.  The team needs to be reminded frequently of the goal and get commitment from every member explicitly.

I think when issues of trust arise, the team needs to step back and do some work to regain trust.  You really do not have time not to deal with the issue.

I am recalling a teacher of mine who said if there is a issue in a team, it is not an individual who is the problem, it is a team problem.  We often blame one member, but I think and believe it is a team issue. 

I invite comments, especially disagreement.   

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