Mistrust

The Situation:

Joanne resented working late but she was convinced she had no choice. The project was so important to her. She had made the initial contact with this client. She took her promises to provide them with excellent service seriously. She felt her integrity—not to mention her future prospects—was on the line with this project. So, she was happy to make this project a number one priority at work.

What Joanne resented was that she couldn’t count on her colleagues in the office to deliver top quality services on this project. When reviewing their draft documents, she felt appalled by both their poor writing and their superficial research. She knew from their previous wok that they could do first-rate work. She couldn’t count on them to give this project the commitment it needed.

What’s Happening?

In a guest piece for the Psychologically Healthy Workplace site’s Good Company Blog, I reviewed a poll that around 1/3 of respondents did not trust their coworkers. Mistrust, even when justified, deprives people of vital resources at work. Teamwork builds upon trust and respect that allow people to integrate their diverse efforts into a coherent, shared service. Mistrust results in isolated efforts, diminishing the potential for great work.

Immediate Action

The team lacks an essential component of teamwork: the project is currently Joanne’s project rather than the team’s project. Joanne’s first step is either to make the project a top priority activity for the team. And that effort would best start with listening carefully to discover the basis of their resistance to the project. The situation could be a misunderstanding that Joanne can resolve through conversation or it may be that she has missed important drawbacks within this project.

What CREW Has to Offer

The forward-looking perspective of CREW helps teams to build trust.

CREW provides opportunities for people to talk about their priorities and expectations. Sometimes team members agree about their mission in an abstract sense but stop short of applying their values and priorities to specific activities. Translating lofty ideals into practical day-to-day work is a fundamental quality of a dynamic team.

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