Building Trust in Teams

Throughout your working life you are more than likely to be required to work in teams. In order for teams to work, there are certain traits that are required. Trust is one of the preferred traits. Research shows that when there is a certain level of trust between two people they will work better with each other.
Trust is much easier to build face to face, simply because we pick up so much information visually, for example through tone of voice, body language and words. We can observe people in different situations and develop rapport based on how they treat us when other people are around. Trust is an important part of all our relationships. Trust only occurs because of action.

To build trust, you can:
o Be honest and open at all times with everyone
o Work cooperatively with others and share relevant information
o Seek and acknowledge the input of others in the development of new ideas and approaches
o Act with discretion and keep private information confidential
o Be consistent in your behaviour
o Be supportive and reliable
o Show genuine interest
o Keep your commitments and promises
o Ensure your words and actions reflect your values
o Admit your mistakes quickly, without any ‘buts’, and right wrongs fast
o Help others to learn from their mistakes and move on, and
o Walk the talk

And just as trust can be developed through positive behaviours and actions, it can be destroyed through negative actions. The table below identifies ways of building trust and ways of destroying trust.

  • Building trust through positive   behaviours
    Work cooperatively with others
    Act with discretion and keep private information   confidential
    Be supportive and reliable
    Be consistent in your behaviour
    Admit your mistakes quickly
    Keep promises
    Share relevant information

    Destroying trust through negative   behaviours
    Show only self-interest and disrespect for   others
    Betray the trust of others
    Ridicule other people, especially when   others are around
    Moralise about the behaviour of others
    Avoid taking the blame for your mistakes
    Consistently break your promises
    Keep organisational information to yourself