💫💫💫 How do you build connection in your meetings and communities?

Hi Everyone! I'm Catherine and excited nerd out about all things mural, design and social impact.

One thing in particular that I have noticed in my work is that people like to build trust in their own way within a team or group. What have you noticed about how people build trust in the groups or communities you're a part of?

Best Answers

  • lailavon
    lailavon Mural Team mod
    Answer ✓

    Hi Catherine!

    That's a really important question because trust is fundamental in teamwork, especially in distributed teams.

    At MURAL there are a few ways we go about it, some are simpler than others:

    • Start meetings with check-ins to connect with people and understand how they're feeling. These don't have to be fun icebreaker questions, but those can work too! If check-ins are done regularly and managers (and the rest of the team) actively listen to people's answers and don't rush through it, it can build micro moments of trust. We wrote an entire blog post on this topic.
    • Schedule regular 1:1s with your manager (weekly if possible). These are moments to clear roadblocks, gather feedback, discuss career development and share feelings and ideas. When done properly, 1:1s improve alignment and increase feelings of belonging.
    • Encourage people to experiment, make mistakes and learn from these experiences. At MURAL, one of our values is "experiment like an owner" and our leaders encourage their teams to take the initiative to try new things and share ideas with others. If mistakes are made, we share the insights with others and see it as an opportunity to do it better next time. Our leaders role model this by sharing their mistakes transparently and the lessons they learned with the entire company.
    • If you're a manager, lean into your vulnerable side. Showing self-awareness for your own blind spots and weaknesses helps to build psychological safety for your team to open up and do the same.
  • SusChilders
    Answer ✓

    Hi all - Absolutely agree with @lailavon and @Meghan! Especially around the steady practice of check in's at the start of any meeting.

    If a group is new (and for large groups) try a short breakout in pairs or trios. This creates a safer place to share without having to address a large audience. It also can be faster to make deeper connections (think more air time per person) vs. going around in a large group. Breakout into pairs, share, then switch and do it again. Repeat at each gathering with a new prompt.


  • Meghan
    Meghan ✭✭✭

    I love this question!

    On a personal note, building trust means identifying their basic needs up front and being clear in how you can/cannot meet them.

    Tagging in some assistance from a few of the bests for more helpful responses!

    @SusChilders @lailavon

  • Meghan
    Meghan ✭✭✭

    Thank you both, @lailavon and @SusChilders (and thanks, Laila for looping in some additional check-in recommendations)!

    @Ideas_With_Moxie, opposite of this, are there (perhaps, well intended) practices you've seen that weaken trust when facilitating?

  • Ideas_With_Moxie
    edited December 2022

    @lailavon, @Meghan and @SusChilders Thanks for your responses! I'm with you on establishing a practice of check-ins and using a variety of group and pair check ins to establish trust. This is something we integrate into our practice as well. What I've found also helpful is practicing the community meeting as a way of developing trust and emotional literacy within a group. I was recently exposed to this in a trauma informed training by Shenandoah Chefalo. You can see more about how she practices that here.

    In general, I think there is a lot of opportunity for design teams to explore the connections of being trauma informed and how that influences trust and the design process.

    Regardless of the check in exercises and warm ups, I'm starting to sense how it's important for people to create trust in a way that works for them. For some, it might be the 1:1 meetings, for others it is having a virtual coffee or meal with a new collaborator, while for others getting into the content and collaborating is a way in which they feel safe and can start to connect. I'm trying to experiment with this concept and will let you know how it goes!