One of a Project Manager’s most important roles is that of building a team. In building that team, he or she must gain the respect and trust of all of the members within that team. In the book trust is defined as “the confidence one person places in another that the other will honor all commitments”(Thompson, p. 93). This is a vital component because the team must have faith in the person who is leading the project. Being the project manager is a very important job which requires not a lot of experience, but also hard work and determination.
The project manager has to have a good understanding of what the objective is, understand what is needed to get to that objective, and be able to communicate all levels of the project effectively to the team. Basically, the project manager must go above and beyond that of meeting the expectations of all of the members in order to gain their trust. It is not only important that the members of the team trust the project manager, but also that the project manager can trust the rest of the team. Being a part of a team involves risk, especially when there is a level of self-management that the team members will have to do.
Having trust in the team can have many benefits such as improving communication, better performance and less conflict among the members. Many times in groups we see implicit trust which is when we trust someone for little or no reason at all based on short interactions that we may have had. (Thompson, p. 95) When we have extremely high levels of trust in a group, we can tend to see the level of performance go down. We can see the performance of a team improve when the project manager and the team members are all monitoring each other’s activities or keeping themselves aware of what is going on in all different areas of the team.
Monitoring the team is not necessarily an indicator in a lack of trust, but merely an attempt to assess the project and the progress of the team. It is important to use discretion when choosing when and how much to monitor the team activity because too much monitoring can affect the performance of the team. It has been said that high levels of trust are associated with low monitoring and low trust is associated with high monitoring. (Langfred 2004)
Although the team needs to have a strong and organized leader, the team also needs to feel a sense of independence and trust. The image below shows how trust can affect a team’s performance. http://search. ebscohost. com/login. aspx? direct=true&db=buh&an=13405639&site=ehost-live As we can see, there are several different aspects of trust that can affect the team and its performance. By placing more trust in the members of team and giving them challenges that will require them to work individually as well as together as a team, you will have a more successful outcome.
Team members will work better together and separately when they feel that they can be trusted and that what they are contributing to the project is making a difference. References Langfred, C. (2004). Too much of a good thing? Negative effects of high trust and individual autonomy in self-managing teams. Academy of Management Journal, 47 (3), 386-399. Obtained on January 26, 2009, from DVUO EBSCOhost Search database. Thompson, L. (2004) Making the Team: A Guide for Managers Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall