over the past couple of years, i've been fortunate to give a few team talks to the team i play soccer for, Salisbury Inter Soccer Club, and within these talks, there have been two main focal points: trust and safety.
Patrick Lencioni's five dysfunctions of a team and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs are my reference points. the former discusses that the primary dysfunction of a team is an absence of trust. without trust, people are afraid of conflict - this manifests as staying quiet in meetings, gossiping, cliques, and division between management and staff or coach and players. when people are afraid of conflict, they don't speak their mind. when people don't speak their mind or voice their opinion, they don't feel invested in the environment and there's hence, a lack of commitment. if individuals aren't committed to an environment, they certainly won't feel accountable when something goes wrong. and when this occurs, an inattention and indifference to results ensues - the individual becomes more important than the team.
so how does this tie into maslow's hierarchy of needs? well, how can a team establish trust? is trust a passive process or is it something that can be actively created? i believe the latter to be true but it's created within the second tier, within safe environments. i believe you can't have trust without safety and that's why so much of my focus within teams but also relationships in general, is about establishing a safe environment. on being a safe environment.
when people feel safe, they're more likely to be vulnerable. when people are vulnerable, that's when trust is founded. when trust is founded, people will speak their mind and conflict then prevents drama. and it's within this space of conflict resolution and vulnerability that people feel more connected; they become a team.
if this is something you think your team or workplace might benefit from, please get in contact with me about organising a time to have a chat. humans naturally want to get along - but when environments aren't suited for these behaviours to occur, individuality and selfishness become the dominant behaviours.