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Trust - Diana Larsen at Agiles 2009


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Trust is the bedrock of self-organizing Agile teams. Trust allows Agile teams to communicate quickly and respond rapidly to changes as they emerge. Without sufficient trust, team members can waste effort and energy by hoarding information, forming cliques, dodging blame, and covering their tracks. A climate of trust provides the foundation for effective team processes, adaptability, and high performance. By paying attention to membership, interactions, credibility, respect, and behaviors, team leaders can stimulate and accelerate trustworthiness and trust. In this session, Diana Larsen describes ways to accelerate trust-building within your team, including a working definition of professional trust, a model for team interactions that leverages trust, ways to recognize when a team has “trust issues,” and skills that help teams develop greater trust.

Published in: Technology
  • All knowledge workers, whether programmers, agile coaches, project managers etc, should absorb this presentation before doing anything else. In my model of high-performance teams, individuals cannot become effective if they don't have the underlying foundation of trust.

    In the absence of effectiveness their intrinsic motivation missing in action.
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Trust - Diana Larsen at Agiles 2009

  1. 1. Trust The Key to Project Team Collaboration
  2. 2. Name Gifts to Offer Challenges Personal “Later” Objectives Personal Motto or Life Lesson 2
  3. 3. We work as a Team when: Common purpose & performance goals Complementary skills for interdependent work Shared approach to work Joint accountability Small number of peers Mutual History 3
  4. 4. Characteristics of Highly Collaborative Teams Group of peers Owns and controls the core of the work Chooses and manages work as whole team Responsible for problem-solving Committed to continuous improvement Prepared to deal with complexity 4
  5. 5. “…[R]eal teams do not emerge unless the individuals on them take risks involving conflict, trust, interdependence, and hard work. Of the risks required, the most formidable involve building the trust and interdependence necessary to move from individual accountability to mutual accountability.” “Trust must be earned and demonstrated repeatedly if it is to change behavior.” Katzenback and Smith, The Wisdom of Teams The Five Persistent Feelings of Superior Work Teams: inclusion, commitment, loyalty, pride, trust. Kinlaw, Developing Superior Work Teams 5
  6. 6. Trust is a significant factor in project success. Trust in leaders and other team members relates to higher organizational performance. The level of trust positively correlates to: • job performance • organizational citizenship behavior • turnover intentions • job satisfaction • organizational commitment • commitment to decisions summarized from Dirks & Ferrin, 2002 6
  7. 7. • “The key, we believe, is trust. When members of a group trust one another’s motives, their competence, and their concern for the task, the work of any becomes the work of all. Group dynamicists know that. It’s one reason they try to build interpersonal trust from the very start.” Lipman-Blumen and Leavitt. Hot Groups
  8. 8. Contractual Trust: A mutual understanding that people in a relationship will do what they say they will do. Reina & Reina. Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace.
  9. 9. Interdependence gives rise to our need for Trust. CBT - Calculus-Based Trust
  10. 10. Collaborative Team Communication Model 10
  11. 11. Signs of Professional Trust 1) Team members report confident expectations about each other’s behavior and intentions. 2) Team members extend trust when others offer basic support. 3) Team members value and show appreciation for everyone’s contributions to team’s effectiveness. 4) Team members talk as openly with one another about work-related failures, weaknesses and fears as about competencies, strengths, and achievements. 11
  12. 12. Credibility, Support, Consistency Three Aspects of Professional Trust 12
  13. 13. Credibility competence, believability, integrity, capability 13
  14. 14. Build credibility: Share information openly and broadly Stay accessible and visible to each other Engage hard questions; answer them where possible Offer objective, candid insights about the organization or team 14
  15. 15. Support respect, civility, interest, self-disclosure, intimacy 15
  16. 16. Show support: Recognize and appreciate each other Exhibit sincere personal concern for each other’s well-being Maintain civil discourse and courteous interactions 16
  17. 17. Consistency reliability, dependability, accountability, character 17
  18. 18. Demonstrate consistency: Follow through on promises and commitments Preserve working agreements Seek and offer feedback 18
  19. 19. Through repeated interactions, we reach awareness of shared values & personal goals. IBT: Identification-based Trust
  20. 20. Teamwork requires trust among team members—trust that members can depend on one another, that all members will contribute their share of the work, that the team will fairly distribute resources, and that the team will include and inform everyone through open, honest communication. High performing teams consciously establish and maintain an environment of trust. Trust becomes a felt presence, an accepted norm, and a foundation for all that the team does. Think about all the teams you have been on. Tell the story of one that you would say was characterized by an environment of trust. A. Describe the team. What did it do? How did you know an environment of trust was present? What did you see, hear and experience? How was it established? What were the benefits to team members? …to their work?…to their organization? B. What one thing can we learn from this team that might help our current teams build a stronger environment of trust? adapted from Whitney et al, Appreciative Team Building 20
  21. 21. Trust is Growing When You Notice Two Kinds of Trust on Teams Trusting – Team members assume each other’s competence, commitment, and positive intentions. Perceptions of mutuality, dependency, and confidence. Trustworthiness – Team members’ actions are consistent, reliable, supportive, known, competent, and credible. Perceptions of respect, obligation, and responsibility. 21
  22. 22. “The best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them.” Ernest Hemingway
  23. 23. Team Members Develop Interaction Skills Self-disclose Empathize Generously interpret puzzling behavior Share information Ask for help Admit mistakes Accept responsibility Give and seek feedback 23
  24. 24. Prompt Factual Specific Feedback Supportive Considerate 24
  25. 25. To encourage or discourage behavior, and build or sustain trust, use this framework to offer feedback with caring and respect: 1. Create an opening 2. Describe the behavior 3. State the impact 4. Make a request 25
  26. 26. Twenty-One Tips for Growing Trust within a Team Team Leaders 1. Trust first—To get trust, give trust and act trustworthy 2. Set a tone for interaction and collaboration 3. Identify clear, consistent purpose and performance goals 4. Expect and allow emotional release, find (or provide) safe space to vent 5. Establish strong business ethics 26
  27. 27. As a Team 6. Communicate openly, freely, and honestly 7. Listen carefully and seek fairness 8. Develop comfort with discussing mistakes, concerns, and limitations 9. Respect each other’s opinions 10. Learn about each other’s perspectives 11. Decide how the team will decide 12. Create social time for the team 13. Empower team members to take risks and act 27
  28. 28. As an individual Team Member 14. Interact with the team consistently and predictably 15. Take responsibility for team action 16. Give credit to team members 17. Make yourself available, accessible, and responsive 18. Show awareness, sensitivity, and support for the needs of other team members 19. Maintain confidences 20. Watch your language 21. Visibly do what you say you’ll do adapted from K. and M. Fisher, The Distance Manager and Robbins and Finley, The New Why Teams Don’t Work
  29. 29. Seven team activities to cultivate trust 1. Sponsor a Project Jump Start 2. Make and Discuss Personal Shields/ Posters 3. Develop Working Agreements 4. Hold Frequent Retrospectives 5. Plan Team Social Events 6. Explore Cultures and/or Individual Styles 7. Celebrate Small Successes 29
  30. 30. Working Agreements for Trust We agree to assume positive intent and give generous interpretations to actions or words we don’t understand, then we seek clarity from one another. We keep our agreements or, if we can’t, we advise teammates of problems as soon as possible. We cast no “silent vetos”. We speak up if we disagree. We seek and offer feedback on the impact of our actions, inactions, and interactions. 30
  31. 31. Team Members Decide When to Trust: Ten Factors that Tip the Balance Factor High or Low? Risk Tolerance Self Adjustment Relative Power Security Similarity Interest Alignment Other Benevolent Concern Capability Predictability/Integrity adapted from: Robert F. Hurley, “The Decision to Trust,” HBR, 2006 Communication 31
  32. 32. Judgement, Blaming, and The Fundamental Attribution Error
  33. 33. The Enemies of Organizational Trust Inconsistent messages Inequitable treatment from inconsistent standards or policies Misplaced kindness Elephants in the Room (a.k.a. Dead fish on the table) Rumors in a vacuum adapted from Galford and Drapeau, The Enemies of Trust, HBR, 2003 33
  34. 34. Suspect Distrust When You See or Hear These Symptoms Rule-bound and rigid Payback or retaliation Bullying Venting frustration on people Insensitivity to the impact of Misunderstandings construed as behavior on others betrayals Focus on self-interest Over-personalized criticism Apathy and low energy Hiding mistakes or poor performance Ignoring feelings Wordy, defensive communication Resentments Insincerity 34
  35. 35. But what about my team…? Distributed Dispersed Diverse 35
  36. 36. Six Keys to Trust for Virtual Teams Create Face Time Set Clear Goals & Expectations Make the Work Visible Provide Ongoing Feedback Showcase Team Members’ Competence Foster Cultural Understanding Ross. “Trust Makes the Team Go ‘Round” HBR 2006 36
  37. 37. Bibliography - 1 Samuel A. Culbert and John J. McDonough. Radical Management: Power Politics and the Pursuit of Trust. The Free Press. 1985. Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister, Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams. 2nd edition. Dorset House. 1999. Esther Derby and Diana Larsen. Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great! Pragmatic Programmers. 2006. K. T. Dirks and D. L Ferrin, “Trust in Leadership: Meta-analytic Findings and Implications for Organizational Research.” Journal of Applied Psychology 87(4) 2002: 611-628. Kimball Fisher and Maureen D. Fisher. The Distance Manager: A Hands-on Guide to Managing Off-site Employees and Virtual Teams. McGraw Hill. 2001. Robert F. Hurley, R. Galford, A. S. Drapeau, W.C. Kim, and R. Mauborgne. “Winning Your Employees’ Trust” compilation. Harvard Business Review On Point Collection. Harvard Business Review. 2006. Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith. The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High Performance Organization. Harvard Business School Press. 1993. 37
  38. 38. Bibliography - 2 Dennis C. Kinlaw. Developing Superior Work Teams: Building Quality and the Competitive Edge. Lexington Books. 1991. Patrick Lencioni. Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Jossey-Bass. 2005. Roy J. Lewicki and Edward C. Tomlinson. “Trust and Trust Building.” Beyond Intractability. December 2003 Jean Lipman-Blumen and Harold J. Leavit. Hot Groups; Seeding Them, Feeding Them and Using Them to Ignite Your Organization. Oxford University Press. 1999. Joyce S. Osland, David A. Kolb, Irwin M. Rubin and Marlene E. Turner. Organizational Behavior: An Experiential Approach. Pearson Prentice Hall. 2007. Harvey Robbins and Michael Finley. The New Why Teams Don’t Work: What Goes Wrong and How to Make it Right. Berrett-Koehler. 2000. Judith A. Ross. “Trust Makes the Team Go ‘Round.” Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. 2006 Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Jay Cherney and Ron Fry. Appreciative Team Building. iUniverse Inc. 2004. 38
  39. 39. Biography Diana Larsen consults with leaders and teams to create works processes where innovation, inspiration and imagination flourish. With more than 15 years working with technical professionals, she discovers solutions and possibilities where others find only barriers and obstacles. Diana co-authored Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great. She writes an occasional blog post at “Partnerships & Possibilities” . Find more information about FutureWorks Consulting, Diana Larsen, and additional resources at the website, . 39