You’ve probably noticed: Trust has become a huge leadership issue in today’s corporate environment. Finger-pointing has gone viral. Lawsuits are off the charts. And the reputations of leaders are disintegrating faster than Alka Seltzer in water.
Within the workplace, as well as outside the office, there is a very real need to exercise healthy relationships that enable coworkers to recognize, encourage, and reward correct actions – while continuing to confront and correct wrongs.
Changing Attitudes and Behaviors
Social psychology tackles issues dealing with attitudes and behaviors that impact the health and well-being of individuals.
- Attitudes are a set of emotions, beliefs, and behaviors toward a particular object, person, thing, or event.
- Attitudes are often the result of experience or upbringing.
- Attitudes influence behavior, and though often life-long, they can also evolve and change.
- Many attitudes and behaviors once deemed acceptable within our society are no longer tolerated. Today, there is a clarion call for team building that demands genuine and authentic leadership.
You have the opportunity to dramatically influence the way others act or think when you are able to understand why people behave the way they do in specific environments, such as the workplace.
Learning and applying this understanding is the foundation for personalized, individual training that provides you with real-world solutions, not theory, leading to more effective and productive communication at every level within your organization.
Essential to building trust among colleagues is the willingness to partner with those at other levels – including the executive level. It’s not always easy to do. It usually requires stepping out of your comfort zone. But if willing, building relationships and partnering with those at every level can create added (and overlooked) value to your business.
Think Outside the Office
I find that leaders today are beginning to recognize the need to understand what truly motivates employees and what’s important to them.
The question on the minds of many leaders is how to sincerely demonstrate that they value these members of their teams and their needs.
I suggest: Think outside!
It’s not all about what happens inside the office. Authentic relationships are those that are still intact after office hours. Real trust can only be built by real people, behaving in real ways, in real places, and in real time.
Trust building can be a challenge, but here are some interesting and fun ways to encourage your team to build and exercise trust.
Five Trust and Team Building Exercises for Outside the Office
Scavenger Hunt: For two or more teams. Pen and paper needed.
- Working from a list of ‘unusual’ tasks, each team must complete the list as a group, within a specific amount of time. (Can be locating and retrieving – or finding and photographing, etc.)
- Completing the most tasks wins – or be creative and assign levels of difficulty to the tasks with the highest level accomplished as the designated winner.
- The focus is on team bonding. Breaks up social and departmental circles.
Human Knot: 8 to 20 people.
- Participants stand in a circle facing one another, shoulder to shoulder. With right hands extended, each person uses their right hand to take the hand of a participant standing across from them.
- Next, all participants extend their left hands and using their left hand, take the hand of a different person across the circle from them.
- Setting a time limit, the group is told to untangle ‘the knot’ of extended arms without letting go of their hands.
- The focus is on team building. Relies on excellent communication. Depends on teamwork and laughter.
Mine Field: 4 to 10 people (even numbers, in pairs). A variety of hand-held objects and blindfolds are needed.
- In an empty space (such as a parking lot, field, beach, or park) randomly place the various objects across the open space.
- One person from each pair must wear the blindfold.
- The person without the blindfold must lead their partner (using only verbal instructions) from one side of the space to the other without stepping on any of the objects on the ground.
- If desired, the objects can be placed within outlined routes that the walkers must not cross.
- The blindfolded person cannot speak at any time.
- The focus is on trust, communication, effective listening.
Egg Drop: A carton of eggs. Newspapers, straws, tape, plastic wrap, balloons, rubber bands, Popsicle sticks, etc. Tarp or drop cloth.
- In an empty space that you don’t mind getting messy (parking lot, field, etc.) divide the group into teams.
- Give each team 20 to 30 minutes to construct a carrier that will protect and keep an egg safe from a high point drop (two-story or however high you wish).
- Increase the height until you’re left with one ‘winner’ (the team that successfully drops without breaking their egg).
- The focus is on creative problem solving and team collaboration.
Community Service: Time is all that is needed.
- Participate in a community program such as Habitat for Humanity or Meals on Wheels, etc.
- Volunteer to organize and promote a community project that reflects your organization’s values and employs the individual talents and collective skills of your team.
- Adopt a cause that everyone on your team can support and contribute to.
- The focus is on discovering more about team members and having a positive impact on your community.
Thinking outside the office is a great way to get to know your coworkers. For more on understanding the behaviors of others – what makes people tick and how to make the most of it – check out this ONE DAY event that has already changed the way millions of people, just like you, do business together.