I do a lot of training and consulting (ahem, hence the name of my company) regarding teams, team-building, team development, increasing trust in teams – basically, a lot of things team. One of the questions I get asked often is how long this xyz process or abc training will take to “work?” This is a legitimate and important question. My response? It depends. Step back from teams for a minute and let’s talk about grass, nice, fluffy, green backyard grass (of course!).
Ever since I got some chickens and talapia I’ve been hard at work on my backyard, watering, planting, weeding, fertilizing. It’s going on 6 months now and I can FINALLY start to see some areas of green – not a lot, but enough to know that my watering, weeding, fertilizing, etc. is doing something.
Teams and team-building works the same. Teams require trust like lawns require water. Trust takes time to build. Want to build trust? Then work on doing what you said you would do for a long time. The longer you do that the stronger the trust. It’s credibility and it’s built the old-fashioned way – long and slow. No IM chat or Facebook status updates here. (Maybe).
So, next time you’re feeling a little disheartened about how long this change process in your team is taking, go outside, take a deep breath and water your lawn.