A Foundation of Trust

A Foundation of Trust

I recently had the privilege of spending the entire day observing one of our talented consultants, Veronica Barber, facilitate a “Champions of Change” retreat for a local client and WOW was I impressed by this strong team committed to growing their strengths and building a foundation of trust.

The Manor, a 123 bed nursing home, is part of the Centrastate Healthcare System in Freehold NJ. This year, Administrator, Jay Solomon, invited the team from DRIVE into his home to meet with patients, residents and staff as they participated in our 4-step approach to organizational development.

  1. Awaken: Reflect on each person’s contribution to organizational culture
  2. Assess: Review strengths, identify opportunities
  3. Align: Ensure processes support goals
  4. Anchor: Sustain established changes

As part of the align phase, The Manor opted to include a retreat designed to create “Champions of Change” for his community.  Having the pleasure of meeting the leadership team once before while conducting focus groups, I asked Mr. Solomon if he would let me observe at their next retreat.

Why? The first reason should be obvious, here at DRIVE we’re committed to continuous improvement and by observing the retreat I was able to provide constructive feedback in an effort to grow our program.  The second reason is because we not only are committed to helping others grow their team members, we ourselves promote growth and development internally.  I saw this as an opportunity to learn from an organization that has already proven to me they are doing something right so I asked to tag along and eat some of their free food.

There is always something to learn by working with great people committed to making a difference.  I thank Veronica, Jay and the other nine members of their team who welcomed me. Especially Helena and Tina who brought candy and cookies for the group!

Here was the retreat agenda:

  • Creating a Learning Environment
  • Promoting Team Performance
  • Providing Clear Decision-Making
  • Holding Ourselves Accountable
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Leading Change
  • Managing Projects

The format of the retreat included different learning styles – I’m guessing Veronica is a visual learner like I am because she used multiple colored markers for her flip chart – and incorporated different methods of teaching including lecture with discussion and some Think – Pair – Share.

Much of the Champions of Change retreat content focused on building a foundation of trust.  Trust is a building block for creating high performance team, and luckily for The Manor, it is already a strength that they possess amongst their leadership team.  The day was filled with laughter, shared ideas, and some tough-self assessments with reflective discussion.  When Veronica asked the group to share possible blind spots with each other, I nearly started to sweat thinking, my goodness, “a team who doesn’t trust each other would not be able to help each other.”

Included in the day was a segment on “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” written by Patrick Lencioni.  Lencioni says “The ultimate goal of achieving greater trust, conflict, commitment and accountability is one thing: the achievement of results.”

It was evident to me that the team from The Manor is committed to the achievement of results, and they self-identified that they could do a better job to engage in healthy conflict.  Teams that welcome different ideas and then work together to make decisions will ultimately drive better results. 

Next time you are with your own team consider the below snapshot image of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.  Trust is the foundation for creating a high performance team committed to achieving results.  Without trust, how can you have healthy conflict?  Without candid debate, how are the best ideas born?  If you aren’t part of the decision, are you really committed?

For teams that have a strong foundation of trust, those who honor different opinions and welcome new ideas, they are ready to build consensus around decision making and hold themselves and others accountable.  When you’re accountable as a team then you’re working together to achieve collective results.   Use the image below as a reminder that trust is the foundation for creating a high performance team.  Remember this does not just apply to your leadership team, it applies to all team members.  If your employees don’t share ideas or solutions, consider the strength of your trust.


This article was written by staff member, Allison Duda


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