Episode #137 – Building Trust in Hybrid Work Teams

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In this podcast episode we interview Darryl Stickel, Leader and Founder at Trust Unlimited. Stickel discusses the decline of benevolence and the increase in fabrication in virtual work teams in the last three years, emphasizing the importance of benevolence as a critical lever in building trust. He also shares insights on how to build trust in hybrid work teams by reducing miscommunication, increasing transparency, and understanding the meaning of benevolence, integrity, and ability. Stickel notes that vulnerability takes courage, and organizations can increase trust by making themselves more predictable and intentionally reducing uncertainty as we Team Anywhere.

What Surprised Darryl Over Past 2 Years

What has surprised Darryl is the decline of benevolence and the increase in fabrication in virtual work teams in the last three years. Stickel notes that benevolence is a critical lever in building trust and refers to the belief that we have someone’s best interests at heart. He argues that virtual teams focus so much on task-type work and spend less time engaging with each other as human beings. This has led to a decline in benevolence and an increase in lying or fabrication. Stickel suggests actively doing something positive for someone to act as a role model and show how to act benevolent in virtual work teams.

Building Trust in Hybrid Work Teams

To build trust as a manager, owner or business team member, you need to understand that uncertainty comes from individuals and the context they are in. There are three levers that can be used to build trust; namely benevolence, integrity, and ability. Those who are good at building trust know when to use these levers.

Building trust in hybrid teams is about reducing miscommunication and increasing transparency. To do this, it is essential to practice benevolence, integrity, and ability, and then make sure that actions are aligned with values. When it comes to ability, it is important to provoke conversations and co-create an understanding of excellence with stakeholders. Self-awareness is essential in building trust, as is the willingness to make oneself vulnerable.

Vulnerability Takes Courage

Darryl references Brené Brown and her work with the military, where they were uncomfortable with the concept of vulnerability. Brown argues that there is no courage without vulnerability. However, vulnerability is subjective, and people can have different perceptions of what makes them vulnerable. To mitigate this, Stickel suggests involving the other person in the conversation to understand their perception of vulnerability. He also advises reducing vulnerability for the other party by letting them start with a small level of vulnerability, similar to how ice cream stores offer samples. Stickel emphasizes the importance of practicing vulnerability by having conversations around how vulnerable we want to be with each other.

Benevolence is Key to Trust

Darryl discusses the importance of trust in organizations and how benevolence is a key component of building trust. He notes that organizations with high levels of trust tend to be more high-performing than those without. Benevolence, which he believes is becoming scarcer, involves taking actions that benefit others. To increase trust, Stickel advises making yourself more predictable by following through on commitments and explaining the constraints and restrictions of the context. By systematically and intentionally reducing uncertainty, organizations can build trust and increase their performance.

Who is Darryl Stickel?

Darryl is one of the world’s leading experts on trust with over twenty years experience. His Ph.D. ¨Building Trust in Hostile Environments¨ from Duke University established him as a global leader for governments, businesses and NGOs on practical approaches to building trust.
Darryl has worked for Mckinsey & Company in their Toronto office, as well as advised the Canadian Military on trust building in Afghanistan. He has served as faculty for the Luxembourg School of Business and the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California and recently completed his book Building Trust: Exceptional Leadership in an Uncertain World.

How to Create A High-Performance Remote Team:

Improve Remote Team Work:

How To Excel as a Remote Team Member

Improve Remote Leadership Skills:

How to Be an Effective Remote Manager

How to Build Virtual Accountability

Building Trust in Hybrid Work Teams Quotes

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