Special guest blogger – Darron Monaghan, Fletcher Construction

Trust is an immeasurable and unquantifiable thing, but probably the most important ingredient in any relationship. Without it suspicion reigns, with it instinct and high performance flourishes. Unfortunately it is burnt more easily than it is earned.

When Aristotle posed that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, he was discussing emergence, the way complex systems and patterns arise out of relatively simple interactions. The phrase is often manipulated to talk about teams of people, particularly high performing teams, ‘We are greater than the sum of our parts’. These high performing teams must have high levels of trust between its members to achieve the arithmetic imbalance.

But what is trust? Is it individual to each of us, or a general constant across the human race? I believe trust is highly personal but built on general constants. If I can answer the following questions positively then I’m confident of building trusting relationships, because if I’m treated that way by someone then I will trust them. If I can’t answer them positively then I’m almost certainly eroding trust.

  • Am I being honest in my communications?
  • Am I being respectful?
  • Am I doing what I said I would?
  • Am I addressing issues in a constructive manner?
  • Am I consistent?

Another often used theological quote can sum up the above quite nicely – ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you’. Though on reflection I believe this works well with people of the same culture, however, culturally diverse teams should agree a common vision and set of values to direct to. So a precursor to the above quote might read ‘if we hold the same values true, if we don’t then let’s align ourselves first’.

In any relationship you’re either earning trust or burning trust. What are you doing? If you’re doing neither then you’re probably not in a relationship.


Darron Monaghan is a Project Manager for Fletcher Construction, and is currently working on the Well-Connected Alliance in New Zealand. Born in Wales and having competed as an international level for Wales in Swimming, he credits this as to where he got his drive for high performance from originally. His passion is developing people and teams to deliver high performance and believes that if you have to spend a third of your life at work you should enjoy it and be proud of what you achieve.