Exploring The Five Behaviors™: Trust

If you’re new to The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team ™ , here’s what you need to know: it is a team development program based on “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” model developed by Patrick Lencioni.

It is designed to help teams become more effective, productive and cohesive in their work environment.

What are The Five Behaviors?






Over the course of the next few posts, we’re going to take a deeper look into each of these Five Behaviors ™. We will explore what they mean for team members, and how leaders can leverage these behaviors to build high-performing teams.

Trust is the foundation of a cohesive team.

Trust is at the epicenter of every successful team. It occurs when team members feel safe and supported by one another. Ask any leader if they think trust is important in a team, and the overwhelming majority will agree, it is. Now, ask those same leaders how they’re actively building trust in their teams, and you will probably hear silence.

Trust is difficult to define, making it even more challenging to build in your team. According to the Harvard Business Review, “the highest-performing teams have one thing in common: psychological safety, the belief that you won’t be punished when you make a mistake.”

When employees feel safe and trusted in their work environments, they “become more open-minded, resilient, motivated, and persistent … humor increases, as does solution-finding and divergent thinking — the cognitive process underlying creativity.” (Source)

Vulnerability is a core ingredient to trust.

Lencioni describes vulnerability as “confidence among team members that their peers’ intentions are good and that there is no reason to be protective or careful around team members”. Trust implies a mutual understanding that all parties are acting in good faith and with the best interest of others in mind.

Think of it this way: trust makes people feel safe. What does safety mean in a workplace? It means having the support to speak-up, share your opinion, disagree when necessary, admit to a mistake, and ask for help.

Do your team members feel safe in these ways?

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Three Truths About Trust

Why is trust so important in the workplace?

Science is shedding new light on the answers to this questions. Paul Zak, founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University, and his associates define three truths about trust that all leaders should know:

  1. Trust improves financial performance; environments with low levels of trust usually experience financial insecurity and instability.
  2. Trust decreases stress, and allows people to collaborate and work together more creatively. When stress is high, results are near impossible. The ability to function as a whole is sacrificed in favor of a focus on one’s own best interest.
  3. Trust breeds trustworthiness. That is, when you trust, others will more likely reciprocate. The same goes for distrust; if you act in an untrustworthy way, others are likely to do the same.

How can you build trust in your team?

  • Help people find commonalities. We are hard-wired to trust those who are like us.
  • Assist team members to understand and value differences by focusing on the strengths that each person brings to the table. Personality profiles such as Everything DiSC® are useful in moving from judging to valuing differences.
  • Create a culture of psychological safety; make it safe for people to ask for help, admit mistakes, and disagree.

Want to take trust on your team to the next level?

The Five Behaviors program leverages the power of personality assessments to help teams understand how they can work together most effectively.

The Five Behaviors helps team members identify individual personality types, and how they contribute to the team. Each team member’s personality results are taken into consideration to improve effectiveness and productivity, ultimately leading to high-functioning, high-performing team.

If you want to learn more about how The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team ™ can work in your organization, I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you.

Let’s schedule a conversation to explore how The Five Behaviors ™ can be implemented in your team.

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