We often talk about the importance of trust = speed at BRS.  It is critical in projects, teams, football clubs and in families.

Trust is often seen as just about the people elements of culture but in fact it is just as important around the task elements.  Being accountable and taking ownership of your role is just as important to building trust, as the people elements of openness, authenticity and transparency.

Naturally some people are more trusting than others and will give you the benefit of the doubt. In other cases it must be earned.  By default people in the humanistic encouraging and affiliative space trust people naturally, and those in the power and oppositional have less trust.  However in most team environments you will need to work hard at earning trust especially if you are in a leadership position.

Trust, in my experience, is based on a number of key elements:

  • Competence: Can I trust you to do the job you are employed to do?
  • Accountability: Can I trust that you will own the outcome or will I need to micro-manage you?
  • Deliver: Do you deliver on your commitments on a consistent basis?
  • Honesty and Openness: Do I feel you are being open with me or are you holding things back?
  • Respect: Do you treat me and others with respect?  Do you bitch about others behind their back?
  • Consistency: Can I predict how you will respond?
  • Integrity: Are you motivated by the greater good and doing what is right or are you motivated by self interest?
  • Confidences: Do you respect confidentiality?
  • Genuine Concern: Do you really care for me as a person?

Trust is the core element in high performing teams.  Once teams have high levels of trust performance goes through the roof.  At high levels of trust we can have adult conversations and challenge each other, whilst at the same time supporting and encouraging each other.  Without trust you can never build a high performing team.