Q: My team seems to be guarded about sharing information or speaking up. I think it is because we just don’t know each other that well. How do I build trust on my team?
A: That does sound like it could be a frustrating issue. Keep in mind that you can’t mandate that your team trust each other. Trust takes time, so be patient. Part of what will build trust is small, but consistent actions taken over time. Think about people you trust, what did they do to earn your trust? Was it one big thing they did? Or do you have trouble pinpointing a specific action, but just know that you trust them? Consistent exposure to people that take small actions that build trust or don’t erode trust help you trust others. Shared experience is also a good way to build teams and help people to know each other better and be more willing to work together, share information and feel safe speaking up. You can also encourage team communication by rewarding team goals. Think about how you can set up a team goal that requires the team to work together to achieve it. Good luck as you work to build trust on your team.