Remote Teams 1

Companies should trust people to work from home more.

Commuting kills so much time and energy that could be spent creating.

-Sir Richard Branson, Founder, The Virgin Group

Wise words from the early 2000’s and certainly applicable to our current pandemic.  Starting a year ago, how many companies and businesses were caught off guard and scrambled to set up the technology and logistics to support remote teams?  How many teams were prepared for the psychological isolation associated with working remotely?   How many of us wish we had bought stock in Zoom a year ago?  I wasn’t so quick on the draw with the stock acquisition, but I’d been working with teams remotely for close to 10 years: leaders in companies who trusted their employees or representatives; employees and representatives who trusted their leaders and companies; and co-workers and team members who trusted each other.  After 10 years, if I was allowed only 1 quality or team dynamic to insure remote team success, it would be trust.

As Stephen Covey, Jr. says: Trust is the one thing that changes everything!  In his New York Times bestseller, The Speed of Trust (2006) Covey, Jr. sees trust as developing from the inside out creating a ripple effect he calls the 5 waves of trust: self trust, relationship trust, organizational trust, market trust, and societal trust.

Brene’ Brown (2018) also points to the pivotal role of self trust in relational and organizational trust: … “the foundation of trust with others is really based on our ability to trust ourselves.”  She uses the acronym BRAVING to specify the 7 elements of trust: 

  • Boundaries
  • Reliability
  • Accountability
  • Vault (confidentiality)
  • Integrity
  • Nonjudgement
  • Generosity 

Maya Angelou quotes an African saying: “Be careful when a naked man offers you a shirt.”  For me, trust has always boiled down to:  Do your words and actions match over time?

Speaking of actions: As we continue our focus on Leaders Learning, it helps to keep in mind and self-check the 13 behaviors (identified in Covey’s research) consistently exhibited by high trust leaders:

  • Talk straight
  • Show respect
  • Be transparent
  • Right wrongs
  • Show loyalty
  • Deliver results
  • Get better
  • Confront reality
  • State expectations
  • Be accountable
  • Listen first
  • Meet commitments
  • Extend trust

Working remotely is not without considerable challenges.  But it is our current and perhaps future option to keep business moving forward.  Taking personal responsibility for our own trustworthiness is the first step. 

Weekly Challenge:  Pick 3 of the high trust behaviors above and decide what steps you will take to grow in these areas.    

Supporting Your Success!