Let’s talk about: Trust in teams

Trust is a preserving component of a team. It allows members to share and to be vulnerable within the circle. Without trust, people tend to focus on protecting themselves and their interest rather than chasing the common good. So it is correct to say, ‘where there is no trust, there is no team’.

There are two types of people when it comes to trust:

• Some trust you 100% on sight and begin to adjust the level of trust to suit their perception based on interactions with you and as you fail to meet their expectations in different areas

• Some trust you 0% on sight and allow you to earn their trust. Earning is easier with some than others.

The focus here is not to debate which is good or great of these two types but to help you see that not everyone will trust the same way and a mix of both types in your team should not come as a surprise. 

Building trust is a deliberate effort and we will like to point out some tips on this by focusing on different sides and angles of the word “Admit”.

A couple of dictionary meanings of “Admit” are ‘confess to be true or to be the case’ and ‘allow (someone) to enter a place’. Both definitions are very significant in our context of interest so we’ll talk about each one.

Admit (as in confess to be true or to be the case)

The key to trust is truth. To build trust in a team, every team member must be encouraged to say the truth at all instances. Can you just take a moment to imagine an individual that:

always admits the truth about what he knows, does not try to hide or pretend about what he does not know, delights in staying accountable, is honest and loves to operate in utmost transparency

Would you trust this person? Yes, I would and more importantly, except I am crooked in my ways, I would also love to work with this person. This points to the fact that trust makes working together easier/ more enjoyable. Imagine a team filled with such individuals, I’d like to consider that to be “an unstoppable team”.

Admit (as in allow [someone] to enter a place)

This speaks to relationship building through openness and, when necessary, being vulnerable to one another. The best glue for bonding in a team is openness. Even if you are made of glue, when you stay locked up in your individual bottles, you can’t stick together. 

Openness is important because it is what people need and expect if they are to feel some sense of ownership and emotional connection (and therefore trust) in an organization. By being open and vulnerable with your team members, you build a culture where everyone has each other’s back and seeks to guards it.

Attaining this level of trust will take a while, but with time and effort, every team can establish it.

But it requires that someone with influence takes the lead.

Previous Let’s talk about: Delegation and Trust

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