Building trust and encouraging teamwork in the workplace is a necessary part of developing your company culture. And one of the best ways to do this is by asking team-building questions with the logic of the getting-to-know-you questions. Some trust questions to understand better can also help, but it’s important to balance them out with personal questions. Hence, here are some trust-building questions to ask in the workplace.
"Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability." -Patrick Lencioni
Best trust building questions for the workplace
1. Ask about what they like
Personal questions are probably the best for building trust because they help your coworkers learn more about each other and understand each other. Around 32% of an employee’s loyalty depends on how much they trust their boss. That being said, such questions can become too personal when you start disregarding privacy. That’s why it’s crucial to keep a balance between personal questions and other types of questions.
Start by asking your coworkers about what they like. What is their favorite book, movie, music artist? What would they love to recommend? What tv show they haven’t seen yet but want to? What is their favorite food or even their favorite color? These are simple questions, but they can get the conversation going.
2. What makes you happy?
Once you have established who loves hotdogs and who loves romcoms, you need to ask another simple yet effective question: “What makes you happy?” It may be something small like nice weather or something big like an outstanding achievement at work.
Whatever it is, sharing it with others can help people establish stronger emotional bonds. Moreover, you can rephrase the question and ask the team about what made them happy today or how they would make a colleague happy if they saw the person was sad.
3. Ask about their traditions
Traditions are important because they are the culture that we carry with ourselves. You might not be very religious, but the fact that your entire family gathers to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas can already be considered a part of your own culture.
Consider asking your colleagues about their traditions, family or otherwise. What do they do for the holidays? Do they have any morning rituals that help them get ready for work? Do they have a particular habit that has become a tradition in its own right? Are there any traditions they would recommend to others?
4. What is your biggest dream?
Every person wants something from life. Someone dreams of buying a big house and having a loving family – someone else may dream of simply having more free time to spend on reading because that’s their favorite thing in the world. So, the next question you should ask is: “What is your biggest dream?”
Keep in mind that not everyone will like to share this. Some people believe it is too personal, while others are afraid of being laughed at. Don’t push them and let those who want to answer the question share their dreams while those who don’t want to can just listen.
5. Ask about their childhood
Another very personal topic that shouldn’t be pushed onto your team but is still necessary is the topic of their childhoods. Most of the time, people can look back at their younger selves and laugh at how stupid they used to be, but sometimes childhoods are not filled with the happiest memories.
As from the custom writing reviews site, Online Writers Rating says, “You can ask them about what they were like as kids, what were their silliest fears, their childhood dreams, and so on. But don’t push them to answer if they don’t want to.”
6. How do you deal with stress?
Once the bond has been established, you can move on to more work-related questions. One of these is, “How do you deal with stress?” Everyone does it in their way, so sharing it with their colleagues can show them their differences and similarities.
In addition to that, some of your employees may find something useful in their colleagues’ replies. Perhaps someone has a pet at home that helps them relax once they come back from work. Someone else might do some exercise during short breaks at work. Maybe someone else loves walking in the park or cooking.
7. Ask about their relationships
No, not their romantic relationships. The dynamic within the team is important to better understand what the company culture is in your business. How much do your coworkers trust each other? What do they believe their strengths are as a team and individually? What do they think their colleagues are good at?
Trust appears to be the most important component of a strong company culture.
Understanding the relationships between your coworkers will help you build a better team and improve everyone’s best skills and talents. It will also help you see the issues within the team that might have been concealed earlier.
8. Who is your role model?
One interesting question that is sometimes overlooked is, “Who is your role model?” Most of the time, there is someone people admire and strive to be similar to. Asking your team members about their role models can help you bring them together and understand what they value in others.
Some will name their mother or father as their role model. Others will name celebrities or famous people who are well-known in a particular field or have achieved something that matters to your colleagues.
9. Ask about misunderstandings
Misunderstandings happen in the workplace all the time, so it’s crucial to understand what their causes were and what their effects were. In addition to that, it’s essential to understand how the misunderstandings were resolved afterward and whether your employees were satisfied. This will also help relieve all the remaining tension between your coworkers.
For example, the social media management platform Buffer has defined a value system that they follow in the workplace. They value transparency and promote positivity, make time to reflect, and focus on self-improvement. All of these lead to trust-building.
10. How has the world changed?
Last but not least, ask them, “How has the world changed?” It’s not a difficult question, but it can help you end the discussion on a relatively positive note instead of just finishing on problems. What is something kids won’t understand nowadays? What are they nostalgic about? What do they hope to see in their future?
11. Ask them for feedback
Once you finish the trust-building, make sure to ask everyone for feedback as it is a crucial part of building trust. You want your team to give their input about the way the session went. Moreover, it’s good to discuss the team’s strengths and weaknesses with them.
For instance, the content marketing software company Percolate has a value system with ownership being one of the key elements of their culture. They own both their success and failure collectively. This leads to employees trusting one another more because everyone has the same goals.
To sum up, there are some questions to ask people in the workplace that can help you build trust and promote teamwork in your company. Use the examples from this article as some of the questions to check-in and use during the workplace team-building sessions.