How to successfully enter in a Team and build trust, even remotely!

Trust isn’t easy to build. It develops slowly, typically after you and another person have spent some time interacting and assessing each other’s character. If all goes well and that trust builds, you start to feel psychologically safe and can form a stable belief about one another. 

Remote work has made all of this a little bit more difficult to do.

Many of us are interacting through our screens and working on hybrid teams with people located in various areas of the world who we’re not likely to meet face-to-face anytime soon. We lack the opportunity of regularly observing our peers in-person, making it harder to gauge their intentions, values, and characters (and vice versa).

This might turn into a problem. In any kind of work environment, you need trust for all kinds of reasons. Without it, you may not feel comfortable bringing your full self to work. You and your teammates may struggle to support one another or openly share ideas and opinions, leading to damaging miscommunications, decreased productivity, and a fear of taking risks that could help you learn and grow in your career.

Here there are three of the most readable indicators of trust. The good news is you can display them also from a remote working mode.

Competence

Competence is your ability to do something efficiently and successfully. When others perceive you as competent, they believe that you have the skills and knowledge to do what you say you will. This allows them to perceive you as dependable, reliable, and predictable — all of which are essential drivers of trust. Some things you can do to signal your competence include:

Be organized and planful: Study the agenda. Show up with a list of questions, research, or solutions that may be of interest to the stakeholders involved in the project. Your peers will see that you are a motivated and organized team player.

Show reliability and consistency: Be consistent in the messages you give out. If you’ve said no to meeting a certain deadline to one team member, don’t switch to a yes when another member asks. Treat everyone fairly and make sure your behaviors match your values.

Be thoughtful about what you promise: Don’t promise things that you don’t have the time or motivation to deliver on. Also, avoid over-promising and under-delivering. Likewise, if you don’t agree with an idea, be honest and don’t give inauthentic support just for the sake of it.

Be predictable and dependable: Remove mysteriousness around your actions by explaining your motives, values, and criterion. For example, when you suggest ideas to your colleagues, you can say, “Here is what I think we should do. 

Benevolence

The quality of being well-meaning and the degree to which you have others interests at heart. Other will grow to trust you based on the extent to which they believe you care about their interests, and have the motivation to go beyond your self-needs to cater to the team’s needs. Some things you can do to signal your benevolence include:

Identify similarities: People will be more open to your ideas if they feel your values overlap with theirs. For example, when someone shares a thing or two about their life at the start of a meeting, try to relate to them in some way by sharing something from your own. 

Honesty: Be honest about the challenges and struggles you are facing — and ask questions back. Finally, when talk about your ideas, link them to your values. This will give others a chance to make deeper connections with you. 

Show your kindness and compassion: Small gestures make a big difference. During informal catch-ups or conversations, take the time to ask to your teammates how they are feeling and be genuinely interested. People will likely see you as someone who cares about the needs of others, and as a result, believe you are more trustworthy.

Shows restraint: Be careful about the words you choose. During meetings, make sure your comments are not dismissive. Avoid scoffing and eye-rolls no matter how disinterested you may be. Don’t dominate the conversation, instead, make sure everyone gets a chance to speak. Avoid gossiping behind a colleague’s back. 

Integrity

Integrity is how you stick to strong moral principles and how honest you are. Integrity is hard to judge and critical for trust building. A lot of behaviors at work are seen as instrumental and strategic, leaving people ambiguous about whether actions are coming from underlying values or merely a façade. Thus, the more opportunities you have to articulate your values explicitly and to allow team members to see your values in action, the more likely they will have faith in you and invest their trust in you.

Show loyalty: Find ways to show your support and allegiance to your team members. 

Listen: By listening to and considering your teammate’s perspectives before you make decisions, you show through your actions that you are reflective and deliberate, as opposed to impulsive. 

Show “citizenship”: Try to go beyond your duties to personally do better than what is expected of you, and to help others achieve excellence. For example, you could take the initiative to act in prosocial ways by offering to teach skills to colleagues that can improve their performance at work. Be consistent, and look for consistency in the actions of your peers.