“A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other.” Emmanuel Giavarini, Managerial Comm. Mgr. for a French Transportation System
This quote attributed to the person identified above was found on her Facebook page and immediately made an impression on me. I suspect it may have that same effect on other readers.
We, in business, work diligently to craft teams that perform at acceptable levels. This is true almost without exception across all kinds of business organizations if the organization has more than one employee. We tend to think about this in terms of the word ‘teamwork’; we are taught this from the time we can remember throughout our education.
Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork!
How often, if at all, do we translate teamwork into trust in each other? When that is stated, it makes sense without much thought being given to it. If we watch our favorite football team, we see that teamwork is obvious in the level of trust amongst the players. There is a chemistry that is immediately recognizable. The quarterback calls a play and everyone immediately knows what each of the other teammates will be doing during the coming action. Each player trusts that each of the other members of the team will be doing exactly what is expected, where it is expected and when it is expected. This is especially true in practice when there may not be an opposing team involved in trying to thwart the play.
Do you trust each of your team members to be where they’re supposed to be. Are they doing what they’re supposed to be doing when they’re supposed to be doing it?
Of course you do since that is what it takes to produce consistent results. This might be more easily observed in a manufacturing environment but it is equally as important in an office.
How often though do we actually think of a team as being based on all the members knowing they can trust their other team mates? If one member of the team doesn’t have implicit trust in each other member of that team, the team won’t function as well as it should. . This is fairly easy to picture in a physical activity since there are physical actions that intertwine with the physical actions of the other team members. Think of firefighters who instinctively know what every other person is going to be doing.
When we transfer this team trust concept to the office, it is potentially more difficult to picture. Thoughts are impossible to see. Teammates know that there are things that need to happen but we are not necessarily able to see them happening. We take it on faith that each step will occur as it needs to occur.
We trust each other; therefore we function as a team. If that trust isn’t there, we do not function as well, if at all. As the quote said,
A team is a group of people who trust each other.