How to Know If There’s Enough Trust In Your Team?

Without trust, you don’t have a relationship, really. We all want to like the people we work with. Trust however, is the basis of any relationship. Trust is earned. It’s the deep bond that connects people with certainty – I have your back, you have mine.

Trust means confidence. Trust underpins team co-operation and cohesion.

The funny thing about trust though, is we often assume it. Then, we wonder why people aren’t getting it, why communication is challenging and people aren’t getting on board.

I worked 1-1 with a client who’d lost the trust of his executive team. While they complained about his lack of judgement in decision making and poor engagement scores within his team, his CEO eventually admitted “I’m not sure I can trust him”. It’s hard for someone to come back from that.

How do you earn trust in a relationship? How do you gauge the level of trust in your key relationships – up, down and across – within your organisation?

Your instinct is usually right.

Here are some key indicators you have trust in your team:

1) Shared Purpose: There’s alignment on the overarching vision/objectives and what business success looks like.

2) Common Goals: Individual goals are aligned and complement each other. Everyone knows what they are contributing toward the shared purpose.

3) There’s respect. People care. Everyone in the team listens to and understands each other’s differences. Everyone knows and values the contributions others make.

4) Open communication: You have purposeful conversations/productive meetings that focus your attention and decisions wisely. People are open and transparent in their opinions and feedback about each other – positively and constructively.

5) Confidence in each other: Everyone takes responsibility for their actions. You utilise each other’s skills and knowledge. Everyone provides support to each other.

Bringing it all together

As a starting point, trust builds when everyone is trustworthy – when people keep their word within the promises/commitments they make.

What do you think the level of trust is within your team against these five benchmarks? Where is your biggest opportunity to build trust in your team? I’d love to know.

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