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  • Writer's pictureCathy Sadler

Exploring Strategies for Fostering Trust and Collaboration Within Teams

This was a very interesting workshop as we collaborated again with The HKUST Dean of Students' Office. After the Supporting Students In Their Learning Journey workshop, where the end users were external - students, this time we used the same tools and applied it to the internal end user group - colleagues.

We looked to find out what the participants think or feel about their current team collaboration. Which stage is their team currently experiencing? The Tuckman's Four Stages of Team Development was an effective discussion model. What does your ideal team look like? What should we change to make it happen? From there we go back to basics - communication. Communication only happens effectively when we feel comfortable to listen and share freely. We delved a little deeper to discuss Psychological Safety in the workplace using Google's Project Aristotle to illustrate what this means on a practical level;

"In a team with high psychological safety, teammates feel safe to take risks around their team members. They feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea." – Project Aristotle
Google Project Aristotle

Participants focussed on questions such as; What kind of working environment are we building every day? How do we create psychological safety in the workplace? We again used Google’s Project Aristotle as a case study and applied it to the Trust Model we used in our previous workshop to see how the Google team behaves at each level of the communication framework for building trust. There are so many strategies for building team collaboration, and psychological safety is definitely a core one.

This brought us to reflect on how we collaborate online nowadays. With the convenience that technology provides, we can connect and work together easily without physically ever meeting each other, but how do we build trust? How do we know we can rely on this person to deliver a piece of work? Can we still collaborate at an optimal level? Yes, we can! Building a working rapport as we collaborate online is definitely achievable when we both communicate and understand our common goals, work values, passion and working styles. Even though we are not working under one organisation, we are one TEAM.

Fostering team collaboration and psychological safety is not just about implementing strategies; it's about cultivating a culture where every team member feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their best. By prioritizing open communication, trust, inclusivity, and a shared sense of purpose, teams can create an environment where innovation thrives, conflicts are resolved constructively, and individuals are inspired to reach their full potential. Ultimately, it's through these collective efforts that teams can achieve remarkable success and leave a lasting impact on their organisation and beyond.

Thank you, Beatrice and Hayden, again for creating this psychologically safe environment for our collaboration and thank you for your trust. Also, thanks to our beautiful participant group, you are amazing.

How Google Builds High Performing Teams
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Deane working with HKUST

Thanks Deane for facilitating this virtual workshop for HKUST.


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