Building Team Cohesion and Trust in an Unstable World

Organizations that learn agility, resilience, empathy, and inclusion will be best prepared to succeed during this time of extreme disruption and beyond.

The people who make up your organization are living in an “earthquake zone” with a major disruption followed by continuing tremors with names such as Delta and Omicron. As soon as we think it is safe to go back to “normal,” the ground shakes under our feet. The uncertainty of this continuous disruption is like getting punched in the stomach by an unseen assailant.

What can training and development do to create a sense of stability and order out of this chaos? Here are two training solutions to build back trust and empathy between co-workers.

  1. Building and Maintaining Trust

“Today more than ever, leading with empathy and resilience is essential,” notes Dr. Diane Brescher, a leading learning strategist at Global Dynamics Inc. (GDI). Over the last six months, there has been an exponential growth in the number of programs to build trust among returning and physically distant workers.

In response to clients’ needs, Dr. Brescher designs Building and Maintaining Trust workshops for leaders, managers, and teams. “So far, all of these workshops have been delivered virtually with great success,” she says. “Each program is tailored to the specific group or individual.”

The objectives of the program for participants are to:

  • Realize how workplace trust impacts business results.
  • Determine their impact on building and maintaining trust.
  • Notice various workplace behaviors that can build, sustain, or break trust.
  • Demonstrate behaviors that demonstrate trust, allowing others to trust you.
  • Practice having trust conversations.

Typical workshops run from two to four hours but can last a full day; executive coaching for leaders may take several one-to-one sessions.

  1. Virtual Teambuilding Program

Another effective training solution that has evolved is the Virtual Teambuilding Program. Team members initially are invited to share information such as favorite foods, movies, vacation spots, and hobbies, etc., which go into a “yearbook” type of format. Team members also are invited to include their photos so they get to see their new and former team members. This information is disseminated before the first virtual team meeting. Participants are encouraged to connect with one another based on common interests.

Virtual teambuilding for new or existing teams can include assessments such as DiSC, Social Styles by Tracom, or others. This gives the teambuilding facilitator and group leader the opportunity to review the profiles of all participants. The profiles help each team member enhance the versatility of their interactions with their teammates.

The goals for these virtual sessions for the leadership and teams include:

For Leadership

  • A shared vision, team-based objectives, action plans, and metrics for success.
  • Increased team member self-awareness based on a deeper understanding of individual emotional and social intelligence, leadership styles, and personality preferences.
  • Enhanced accountability and leadership for each team member.
  • A clearer understanding of the process for deciding which issues should be escalated and which should be the responsibility of each team member.
  • A stronger peer network of leaders across the team to share best practices, discuss lessons learned, and provide mutual support.

For Team Effectiveness

  • Clear focus on WHAT the team does and HOW they will virtually work together, set goals, and work toward their goals.
  • A deeper understanding of the virtual team behaviors and practices that drive high performance.
  • Strengthened relationships, established mutual respect, and trust built by increasing understanding and appreciation for one another.
  • A greater understanding of when to delegate responsibilities to others.
  • Creation of a virtual team communication plan
  • A sustainable team climate that fosters high levels of collaboration and performance.

During the last quarter, we conducted several virtual teambuilding programs for various industries. Some teams are new, while others have been in existence for a while. There are always new team members who have never met. Most programs run three to four sessions lasting two hours. We have found that Virtual Teambuilding for global teams have been effective, allowing team members to effectively collaborate across time zones and cultures.

Organizations that learn agility, resilience, empathy, and inclusion will be best prepared to succeed during this time of extreme disruption and beyond.

Please e-mail your questions about either program or examples of your best practices to me at:

Neal Goodman, Ph.D.
Dr. Neal Goodman is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer, and coach on DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion), global leadership, global mindset, and cultural intelligence. Organizations based on four continents seek his guidance to build and sustain their global and multicultural success. He is CEO of the Neal Goodman Group and can be reached at: Dr. Goodman is the founder and former CEO of Global Dynamics Inc.