How to Build a Culture of Trust NFL Style

By Greg Hunter, RT (R) (T)

      Beth Boynton, RN, MS

Not everyone is a football enthusiast. But most of us have been inspired by great stories of a winning football team. We shouted hooray for our favorite players whether we are watching from an arena or in the comforts of our home. We cheered endlessly and recount their stories over and over again.

What makes these teams inspiring? What do we see in these players that make us want to be part of their team?

Jeremy Bloom, a former football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles, a celebrated Olympian and many times a World Cup Grand Champion has a lot to say when it comes to integrating the factors that makes winning teams in sports into collaboration strategies for other organizations. He put into actions his theories of teamwork NFL-Style when he co-founded a software company that deals with demand generation for marketing five years ago and which currently is raking exponential growths in revenue.

According to Bloom, trust is the most basic ingredient of any winning team. We couldn’t agree more. In fact, it is the foundation of all relationships. It is the factor that bonds members in a way that they function like having a central brain and several appendages that do exactly as they should.

A team may have A-1 members… the best doctor, nurse, anesthetist, therapist… Each has multiple credentials dangling after their names… but working as a team, they may fail considerably. Why is this so? One reason is because they have failed to build a culture of trust.

According to an article by the Journal of Investigative Medicine, without trust, teams are bound to fail. Now, the question is, how do we build a culture of trust the way they do in winning football teams?

1.             Say no to bullying behaviors and promote humility.

Bloom makes it clear that in his company, there is no room for bullies. Fear that is sowed by bullying behaviors extinguishes great ideas, team morale and disregards responsibilities, and with these, trust also dies. It is best to teach workers to be humble, speak up for the belittled, and help the aggressor review work ethics or else, help him get a new home altogether.

2.                   Make transparency your way of life.

Great football players know that without transparency in the team, there can be no trust. It is a natural instinct to protect one’s interest, name or career and hold back on things which may benefit the team. Have a common platform whereby rules, guidelines and protocols are readily accessible, should the need arise. Have a way to elicit feedback to ensure closed-loop communication. And no sugar-coating. If a patient has deteriorated because of an intervention, no amount of fear should stop it from being said so that solutions to rectify the situation can be timely and effectively instituted.

3.                Make it a point that when you look back at past mistakes, you look for ways not to do it again – as a                         team.

Looking back in the past is not meant for people to dwell into it but instead use it as a tool to better the organization. Football teams do not always win. The loser in a major league helps give the winning team their success story. They also give it their all because if not for that, there would be no inspiring game to watch.  Show ownership any time you can and respect others when they do while being careful not to judge or blame.

When a team player makes a mistake, it is hardest to trust that person again, especially when the game is on the line. We take matters in our own hands and depend on our skills, thinking that we are saving our own skin in the process. But looking back at mistakes as a team and finding ways to not do the same mistake again as a team can open avenues that lead to improvements that an individual alone cannot do on his own. The collective effort goes a long way in getting the success that we work hard for.

We at ManageUP can help you build a culture of trust

One of ManageUP’s, co-founders incorporated sports teams methodologies into the platform which excelled him to become a national champion.  The companies continuous effort to integrate the strategies and discipline of sports teams into healthcare teams, believes that sowing a culture of trust is of utmost importance in making organizations perform their best. It has a unique platform that centers on transparency, gamification and employee engagement that foster trust. To know more about ManageUP, click here.


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