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How do you build trust in virtual teams?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 14550 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Leadership & Management, Roles and Responsibilities


Trust between team members is an essential part of any well functioning team.  While lots of things are more challenging when working with virtual teams, building trust is definitely one of them. 

When a virtual team first comes together there is an opportunity to create what Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight calls "swift trust". Swift trust decays over time, but it's a good foundation on which to build longer term trust.  

Swift trust is rooted in the idea that the entire team has been brought together for a common purpose and everyone is in it together. In the beginning, members have no choice but to give each other the benefit of the doubt for the success of the group. To build swift trust, the team leader should introduce all of the team members and tout the achievements of each.  Remember, there's a reason why each person has been selected for the project. Additionally, setting clear goals and milestones upfront helps keep the initial trust in place by directing everyone towards the same common goals. It gives a feeling that the team is being set up for success. 

As team members complete their deliverables on time and to the satisfaction of the team, deeper trust begins to build. But delivery of work product is not enough. Before the swift trust fades, the team must begin building interpersonal trust.  This is the trust that exists between pairs of team members. As team members work together and rely on one another for completing their work, deeper trust is developed.  Often though a team member only works directly with one or two other team members. The more the team leader can encourage work between other members of the team the greater the chance of building that deep interpersonal trust throughout the entire team. 

There are also things that impede and destroy trust among team members. Lack of regular and predictable communication is one.  When team members feel out of the loop regarding important project details trust begins to diminish. Communication of schedules is also imperative. If one team member is relying on another and that team member is unexpectedly unavailable there will be a breakdown of trust.  It's always better to over communicate. 

Finally, the sharing and rotation of power can be a great asset to further build trust. Allowing other team members to take the lead during key stages of a project shows confidence in their abilities. Of course, this doesn't mean it has to occur without oversight. But showing confidence in others creates trust in return.

Video: How to Build Trust on Your Virtual Team

Chris Adams
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.



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