Trust is the foundation of business success.
People feel stressed when their trust in their team is low. This can have negative effects on their mental abilities, emotional stability, and health.
A lack of trust can prevent you from working effectively together.
Ever wonder if it’s safe to share your ideas?
Do you care more about your back than helping a colleague?
Are you curious about how your colleagues value your contributions.
Trust is the foundation of great work. It is possible to build trust in your workplace and create a positive work environment.
Trust and collaboration will make you and your team more successful. Trust is the key to motivating your followers and enabling them to perform at their best.
How can trust be built? Through improvisation.
An unexpected solution
You are probably already an improviser, but you don’t know how to do it.
Most likely, you’ve been in one of these situations. You can improvise your way out of it.
- Your boss calls and asks you to help with a project that you have never heard of. Although it sounds frightening, you agree to take on the project.
- Presenting to a large client, you are asked a question you have never considered. A colleague joins you to help you and builds on your answers.
- You have a team member who is sick. You are covering the work of your team member, as well as pitching in on surprise proposals.
These are all situations where improvisation is key.
Improvisers engage in radical collaboration using trust and an intensity of work that is above the average level of teamwork. These behaviors are crucial to building, managing and showing trust. Improvisers need to trust one another when they walk onstage each night without a plan or script.
Improvisation at work
ImprovEdge was brought in to assist two large banks that were merging to create new brands and messages. To avoid any problems, the leadership realized that employees of the “new” bank had to accept and understand the new identity.
We created a workshop that we could present to hundreds of employees. This included the CEO and administrative assistants. Our efforts came to an abrupt halt after the first presentation.
It wasn’t branding that was the problem.
There was no trust between groups.
We spoke extensively with the leaders and redesigned the workshop based upon our observations.
- The wealth management branch was concerned that their new colleagues would not understand how to manage high net-worth clients and will weaken their brand.
- Retail branch was offended at the treatment of their new colleagues. The retail business brought more reach and product diversification to this new organization.
- These branches also came from different parts of the country and had different communication rules. The New York City branch for wealth management was in New York City and the Midwest retail branch in Chicago.
Mistrust and differences in communication styles lead to poor communication, no collaboration and misunderstandings, low trust, less guarded communication and lower trust. Without a way of improving collaboration and trust, the cycle would continue – and the company would lose resources, time and money as well as innovation.
We improvised together! To help us move towards a more effective, merged business, we engaged in brainstorming sessions and improv exercises with our employees. Redesigned workshops focused on positive communication and building on the ideas of your team. They also stressed supporting different strengths, which are all fundamental principles of improvisation. These behaviors enabled the wealth management and retail branches of the company to recognize and harness the diverse capabilities of their new colleagues. They were able introduce new products and collaborated on the growth of the business.
People trust and collaborated when there was a solid foundation. This led to the best work and the commitment to succeed. This organization, and yours, can develop flexibility, collaboration and positivity through improvisation.
Do you remember a situation where improvisation helped to build trust and collaboration at work?
Takeaway: Use Improv to solve small and large problems that are preventing collaboration and slowing down growth in your business.