Teamwork Begins By Building Trust

What makes an awesome Team?

Patrick Lencioni says “Great cohesive teams do not hold back with one another. They admit their mistakes, engage in open, constructive conflicts, disagree and commit. They hold each other accountable for their results”. 

However, the question is How do we build such an awesome team?

Teamwork begins by building trust. Is there a practical way or mechanism to build the foundation -the trust. One of the effective ways of building trust is by aligning everyone in the team to a common goal, a shared vision or team manifesto or a Visual goal setting.

Jurgen Appelo shares a great technique Visual goal setting in his Management 3.0 #workout book. Depending on the team and the context, Jurgen suggests to use different techniques to help the team visualize their goal, ranging from a poster session over a cover story over a product box to a Lego® Serious Play® workshop. I love experimenting with the tools that foster team collaboration and help building trust.

Visualization of a shared vision helps the team grow mutual respect and a stronger bonding  – There could be different means of achieving Visualization of Team’s Vision by crafting the vision on a flip-chart poster, creating a team manifesto and having all team members signing on it, Its pretty cool that way. To know more about how to create a Team Manifesto you could read an awesome blog written by Barry Overeem.

As a part of our annual kick-on event at Prowareness, we wanted to experiment something different, we wanted teams to come up with their vision and goals in a visual manner. So what did we do differently?

We took the teams to an outing and in a open place in the nature surrounded by trees with some arrangement of tables, chairs, food and of-course music. We provided teams with flip charts, Crayons, Sketch pens of different colors, marker sets and some candies to eat, why candies- just to take them back to their childhood days and to unleash the inner child so they paint their vision like a child.

Teams have come up with their Journey line for the previous year’s retrospective, crafted Team’s Vision followed by the quarterly goals. Creativity was in the air, I was astonished to see the outcome from each team as their passion was quite evident. We the coaches team also came up with our Journey line and Our Team’s Vision, see a snapshot below.


All the teams were given opportunity to present their Vision and talk about it in a 5 minute time box. Energy levels and engagement were very high and persistent smile on peoples faces. When people are allowed to come up with their Vision and Goals they are much more committed because they feel the onus on them. Management needs to create such environment where people sense and feel autonomy, purpose and mastery. This unlocks the intrinsic motivation of people. Visual Goal Setting technique is an awesome tool to trigger intrinsic motivation for people.

Do share your experience with starting new teams, creating team’s vision or trust building exercises. I will be glad to learn from you 🙂

Live with Passion.

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