Trust is the foundation to a cohesive team. While most leaders know this, they are unaware that they are probably breaching trust daily in their own organizations. When working with a new leadership team, I must first understand how dysfunctional the team is and specifically how strong the trust level is. Ironically, most CEOs will acknowledge some level of dysfunction in their teams but rarely understand “how” dysfunctional they are. Worse, they fail to realize how much lack of trust there is among the team members and how they are personally contributing to that mistrust. Failure to address this issue is costing companies millions. Fortunately, there are practical ways to address this issue.
You obviously cannot assume everyone trusts you equally. A great way to find out is to survey your people. I am a big fan of Pat Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team Survey, which has questions to evaluate how much business team members trust each other. I recommend that you use a third party like Activate Group to administer the survey as you are more likely to get honest answers from the team. We can also help you use exercises to address the issue.
Here is a sample question from that survey to help you determine whether your business team members trust you. For each of these statements, how would rate your relationship with an individual team member and their relationship to you (the rating system is (1 = never, 2 = rarely, 3 = sometimes, 4 = usually, 5 = always):
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