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A Short Introduction about Trust in A Team

Kirjoittanut: Xiaoqing Yang-Pyydysmäki - tiimistä FLIP Solutions.

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Trust is an abstract and a bit blurred concept. We always say trust is vital for a team. Without trust, the team hardly can reach any target. Why it’s like that? How is a trust established? For a newly formed team, what methods should we use to make each other feel safer and work towards a common goal?

Think about when a team doesn’t have trust, it becomes a group of people who are working together but don’t share their knowledge. People may fight over rights and responsibilities, and they may not cooperate.  No matter how talented the members are, they may never reach their full potential because they don’t trust each other. Meanwhile, the capabilities of innovation, collaboration, creativity, and productivity will decrease. Everyone will spend the time focus on how to protect their own benefit.

When a team has trust, it provides a sense of security. Members will feel safe and be honest with each other, and they are willing to take responsibility and expose the weaknesses. It will help people become stronger as they are part of an effective and cohesive team. Eventually, the team will achieve truly meaningful goals.

There are few tips about how to build team trust.

  1. Identify team values

Every team has its own culture, the values in the team drive the culture. Team values will let members actively maintain such a culture which the base is trust.

  1. Be honest in communication

Solve problems by creating an environment where team members can speak their true ideas, allowing frank communication with each other, and proposing different ideas and solutions from different angles.

  1. Have regular team building

Team building activities are an interesting and effective way to reduce stress and build mutual trust.

Moreover, the Trust Equation by Charles Green may help us understand trust more from an individual’s perspective.

Trust= Credibility · Reliability · Intimacy/Self-orientation

Credibility – It is about the knowledge base the person has. For instance, is s/he an expert of a certain area, what is the previous working experience qualification or certification? People can increase the expertise by further studying.

Reliability – How reliable is this person doing things? As long as the person delivers on his/her commitments consistently, it’s reliable performance.

Intimacy – Can this person keep words confidential? Am I willing to meet him/her in the free time? Can I share the vulnerability with this person? It refers to the safety and security people feel.

Self-Orientation – This refers to whether a person is self-centered. As this factor is in the denominator, it determines that it is inversely proportional to the degree of trust. In other words, reduce selfishness and focus on others first can increase trust effectively.

This formula gives us clear guidance on how to become more trustworthy as an individual. We know that trust is difficult to build but so easy to break. Hence, every member should put time and effort into building and maintaining it in the team.



“The Trust Equation: A Simple Summary”


”Ten Ways To Build Trust On Your Team” by Liz Ryan



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