In the first of three posts about The Global Leadership Team, we talked about the importance of cultivating the team with agile leaders. Part 2 focused on creating the team's cultural building blocks. This post is focused on enhancing trust and respect among team members.
Building Trust and Respect Among Team Members
The most effective global leadership teams are focused on problem solving and decision making. To do that effectively, team members need a strong foundation of trust and respect for each other so that ultimately they can engage in the dialogue and debate it takes to make the few and consequential decisions for the global organization. Without the dialogue and debate, assumptions go unchallenged and decisions take longer to make. Even worse, team members with less developed language skills are often overlooked or perceived as quiet, resulting in a low level of participation and ultimately commitment toward a global direction.
The bottom line is that trust and respect becomes the cornerstone of efficiency on a global leadership team.
Here are a few tips for building trust and respect.
- Team members have to be committed to spending time together. In most cases this means making the weekly team meeting as important a priority as customer meetings and other obligations.
- Quarterly in-person off sites can help accelerate relationship building.
- Individuals have to be proactive in their communication with each other, by intentionally reaching out to connect with each other even when they don't have a specific agenda item on their plate. Schedule recurring calendar reminders to help ensure this happens consistently.
- Team members have to be sensitive to resolving conflict with each other in a timely manner. Language barriers, tone of voice, and unspoken expectations often generate misunderstandings when team members aren't physically together.
- Engage in team building activities to continue trust building and ensure the team stays accountable to its agreements.
The global leadership team can be a source of innovation and shared vision for an organization. Don't let the gaps in time, distance, and cultural differences lesson its impact. Ensure the team is comprised of agile leaders, create the cultural building blocks, and focus incessantly on building trust and respect.