Lessons in Team Building: Building Trust

Building TrustTrust is key in strong teams. Whether your team is two people, ten or ten thousand, the team is only as effective as the strength of the mutual trust of the members.

In fact, it's true even if you're a one person team. Who hasn't foundered when he or she can't even trust his or her own ability?

That's why it's critical that your team building game at least nudges the trust factor up a notch. At the end of the day (or event), if your team trusts each other a bit more than when they started, your team will be stronger for it.

You don't need to introduce "trust falls," search-and-rescue drills or life-and-limb-risking dares into an event to build trust. After all, the team members need to be willing and able to complete the activities for them to have any positive impact. And talking someone into doing a ropes course or sky-diving often boomerangs into a reduction of trust rather than boosting it.

Instead, you need to give people real-world opportunities to show each other that they're good for their word, and that they'll try their hardest even when the stakes are low.

Like in a game. When it's fun for the whole company, not just the thrill-seekers in the crowd.

Because if they'll bust butts for you when the stakes are low, imagine how hard they'll work when it really matters.

Games build trust.

So get out and play, already.

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