Organizational climate based on trust, confidence, and open communication is something everyone in organization should contribute because it is inevitable for its survival and success.
A leader is measured upon achieving the goals although achieving the goal is not the only duty he has in his everyday work. Getting things done is already difficult task for itself but team leader can’t make it alone. His team is there to fulfill the assignment and the leader is there to plan, organize and supervise the teams’ work. Being leader sometimes seems as “mission impossible” if there is no trust between us as leaders and our team.
Trust is inevitable for team success because team has to have trust in leaders’ direction and decisions. Leader, on the other hand, has to have trust that each team member is committed to the task and knows its own role during the assignment. Only if mutual confidence exists there is a possibility to reach the goal. This is something that leaders feel and live with each task and each day.
We often forget how important this is because we tend to make each task a routine, work without surprises. In such environment it is hard to put team members’ trust on probe. Everybody fulfills known tasks, nothing unusual happens and roles that have been learned before suit well. That leads us to believe that when we work with people we trust it is always going to be easy and comfortable. This could be the case when we work on everyday tasks, but trust will come in question in situations that are not so common.. The leader is the one which should explore the borders of his own capabilities as well as borders of his team. Crossing those borders gives us advantage in comparison to other teams and pushes the team to explore new ways of reaching the goals. What happens with trust in such situations?
Absence of trust could be mutual: leader’s toward his team or vice versa. Trust is crucial component within team and lack of it forces every team member to adjust behavior when cooperating with other members. In such situations team members usually feel the need to calm situation and are searching for words and behavior that will positively, in emotional meaning of that word, influence the others. To achieve that positive influence people usually try to figure out how they have to behave to avoid disturbing anyone and how to discover what “others” want. Sometimes even the leader while guiding, ordering or explaining the job in front of the team covers the real emotions and language with some other expressions trying not to discomfort anyone. Doing so, simultaneously and unconsciously, we build strong walls around us to protect ourselves.
Protection is extremely often used strategy in situations that encourage our fears or, in other words, in situations where people do not trust each other. Such situations should arise very often in working teams. So when the leader pushes his own borders he actually comes in discomfort zone where his self confidence naturally decreases because of facing with new situations. Capable leader knows well his strengths and weaknesses and therefore is easy for him to overcome such situations. The most capable leaders know the same for their teams and are able to lead them through unknown waters with sufficient confidence.
Pushing the team over the fence could be difficult if team members are customized not to share information in order to protect each other from awkward situations and fear. They are rather choosing to mislead themselves for the sake of safety than to feel the fear. Protecting ourselves and our people in advance may lead only to illusion of safety. We may even experience the satisfaction of winning every time our protective maneuvers pay off. On the other hand, such behavior can be deadly for leaders and their teams since they will never confront situations in which they have to stretch their capabilities and fight against the fear. Such approach leads to lower competitiveness since neither leaders nor teams improve themselves facing responsibly with difficult issues. Lower competitiveness leads to lower engagement and as final consequence team won’t be able to fulfill its goals. Such development is something that each and every team leader should tend to avoid.
Leaders have much better possibilities than they often believe! By increasing trust toward teammates they will have excellent starting point for improving overall trust level within the team. Through increased cooperation, as well as open and constructive problem solving, leader can improve organizational climate in his team and consequently trust as well. If team members recognize increased trust level from their leader they will be able to confront more fearless with problems than before. This will increase leader’s self confidence r so he will be willing to step into more dangerous waters even more.
This is very important because if the leader strives to achieve challenging goals he has to challenge the status quo first.. When we are surrounded by people we trust we actually start to believe that the future we want is possible. In that case our willingness to take a risk becomes more powerful than any fear in ourselves. When we choose to trust the people around us, we are willing to risk feeling uncomfortable for the sake of a higher purpose. Increased trust within team results with open discussions and finding of unconventional solutions for the problems. This usually encourages also other teams to start with such praxis which leads to progress of the whole company. Team members will influence the leader not only through their results but also with constructive discussions, advices and proposals. Leader will use this new climate to start and promote sustainable and systematic positive changes both within the team and within the organization.
Promoting trust and climate that support creative and proactive work with full engagement of all team members helps individuals, teams and organization to achieve their results with higher emotional involvement. In other words, it is situation in which we recognize that employees care about high quality of their own as well as of team achievements. The quality is extremely important differentiator when customers compare the products and services of various companies. Quality is crucial because it helps company to fulfill the promise to customers on the long term and excel the competition. Organizational climate based on trust, confidence, and open communication is something everyone in organization should contribute because it is inevitable for its survival and success.