The importance of trust for an effective team and five activities to help your staff build trust
Trust is key to effective working relationships, but it’s hard to trust when you’ve been let down in the past. Some people are naturally distrustful or have a natural distrust of managers and even colleagues due to previous negative experiences.
So how can you position yourself as a leader people can trust and respect? How can you develop a corporate culture built on genuine trust and mutual support?
Organising corporate events with a focus on trust is an essential part of fostering strong connections between team members. By participating in activities that rely on listening and communication skills, team members must trust each other or they’ll fail to achieve their goals. Take people out of their comfort zones and push them to achieve, and they’ll be surprised at how well they can work together. That experience will then translate into the workplace, leading to better performance and communication.
We all fall into bad habits over time, repeating patterns of behaviour that may not be effective in the workplace. When you take your team and expose them to new challenges, it encourages participants to try new approaches and discover how effective a team can be when they work together. Once people learn to trust each other, they’ll have a much stronger sense of when to step forward and lead, when to defer to someone else’s leadership and how best to support each other.
These are some of our favourite activities that can be used to improve trust between your staff.
1. Blind obstacle course
Build a simple obstacle course for your team to navigate. Blindfold your staff and hand them a rope to hold onto so they stay together as a group. Now they need to work their way round the course, calling out instructions and advice to each other so everyone can safely make their way to finish line.
2. Don’t step on the mines
In an open area, randomly place a number of obstacles on the ground, such as chairs or cones. Divide your staff into pairs and have one of them put on a blindfold. Once they have the blindfold on, they aren’t allowed to talk. The other person needs to verbally guide their partner around the obstacles to reach the other side. Once they’ve successfully completed the course, they should swap over. You can have more than one couple do this at the same time, and you may want to award a prize to the fastest team.
3. Scavenger hunt
An old favourite, scavenger hunts are a great way to encourage teamwork and cooperation, especially if you ask people to look for items that are a little more creative or out of the ordinary. Divide your staff into small teams and give them a list of unusual objects they have to find. The first team to gather everything on their list wins.
4. Put the tent up
Divide your staff into teams of six. Let them choose one person to be the leader (perhaps a staff member who doesn’t normally get to demonstrate leadership skills). They need to guide the rest of their team in putting up a tent. Of course, it’s not as straightforward as that. The tent builders should all be blindfolded and the leader isn’t allowed to physically help them. The leader can only give verbal instructions for the others to follow.
5. Blind waiter service
This is a good activity for the end of the day when everyone will appreciate a relaxing glass of wine. Hide bottles of wine around the room and have a table laid out with empty glasses on one side of the room. Divide everyone into pairs and have one person blindfolded. The partner needs to verbally guide the blindfolded person to find a bottle of wine, open it and pour out two glasses. The first pair to take a sip of wine wins. Perhaps you might like to offer another bottle of wine as a prize…
If your team could benefit from some trust building exercises, Kippure Corporate can help you put together a programme that will build trust and improve communications. Contact us for more details or to book an event.