Building Trust

The Importance of Building Trust in Your Team

Hi, my name is Dean Scott, and I’m a senior consultant with The Collaborative Way®, and today I’d like to share with you some insights from our work around building trust in teams. We all can appreciate the importance of trust in a team, and for some of us, we’re fortunate to be on such teams. But what if you’re not? What if you’re aware that the level of trust is not where it could be, or you can see the signs of trust wearing thin–where people are not sharing information or being straightforward, where there’s silos within your organization? This has a huge cost, and as leaders, it is your responsibility to support your team in creating an environment where trust can be cultivated. In fact, if you’re not investing in how your team are working together and in their ability to work together, then you’re tolerating this dysfunctional behavior. 

The Challenges to Building Trust

So, how do we go about creating trust where we perhaps don’t have the benefit or luxury of time? We don’t have 20 years to work together and build reliance on each other. In today’s modern workplace, we have remote work workplaces. We come together with different generations and different cultures and backgrounds, and we all have our own ideas of how things should be, should happen, and to corral everybody together and to build trust together is an essential skill set. So, by calling out an intentional way of working together there is much more opportunity for people to develop the skill set to work together in this way. They also develop the tools to be able to deal with conflict and have difficult conversations, or perhaps it is where I need to clean up and actually forgive each other. So, in the absence of this called out or intentional way of working together, we’re leaving it to chance, and that has a very big cost to the organization.

The Collaborative Way® Can Help You Build Trust

So, how can we support you in creating this sort of environment. Well, the answer comes down to the small moments, the everyday interactions that there is the opportunity to really build trust or to diminish trust. Now, trust isn’t static; it isn’t passive, and it does require building and maintaining and repairing. So, we need to keep our attention there. And so, I’d like to share with you just a few of the steps and a few of the practices we use in tThe Collaborative Way® that I hope will benefit you going forward in starting to build trust in your team.

Listening Generously and Speaking Straight Builds Trust

So, first is to really look at how we’re listening, and listening with great curiosity and openness will create a much more trusting and inviting environment. All skilled workers want to grow; they want to contribute and want to feel valued, and your listening will help draw that out. It will also encourage them to speak up and speak straight so that when you’re honest and straightforward it gives them permission to also do the same. Remember: as leaders in organizations, you are being observed so take that to heart and notice how you’re speaking and how you’re listening because building trust is deeply related to communications.

Being For Each Other Builds Trust

The third area that we call Being For Each Other–this is a practice that is about really calling out your intention for their success. When people are clear and understand your intention, they’re much less likely to attribute a negative intent to you. So, even if it is around making a decision and people are not sure why you’re doing it, call out your intent and be intentional about everyone’s success–be for them. 

Honoring Commitments Builds Trust

And fourth, and one of the the biggest impacts in building trust is when you’re impeccable with your commitments. So,when you make commitments, when you align your actions with your words, it has a strong influence on how others behave. So, I really recommend you work on being impeccable even with the small commitments and honor each other by keeping each other informed around your commitments that you will make or those that you have to renegotiate. Remember: we’re building reliance on each other. We’re building connectivity with each other, and this will add to the level of trust within your team.

Acknowledgement and Appreciation Builds Trust

The final area that I really would encourage you to to take on as a practice is to recognize and appreciate where people are doing things well. So, Acknowledgement and Appreciation is key. We think we acknowledge more than we do, so the biggest obstacle to this can be our failure to notice. So, perhaps slow down and look around and notice where people are doing things well, and it’s one of the the most beautiful acts of kindness is when you acknowledge another.

Build Trust Through Daily Interactions

So these are just a few ways in the daily interactions and the small moments where we can put practical steps in place to help build trust quickly and in a way that’s authentic. Remember: listening with curiosity, speaking honestly, straightforward, setting out clear expectations, calling out your intent, really being for each other’s success, calling that intention out, and you know, supporting people to grow–that will create the environment where they feel safe, and they feel valued. The fourth is about honoring your commitments and being impeccable with your commitments–become trustworthy, become someone who can be depended on. And the final one is Acknowledgement and Appreciation. Start to notice and appreciate each other. Call it out when you find someone doing something right. All right, good luck. Share in the comments if there’s anything here that you can take on board and good luck with that. Thank you.


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