The Great Eight: Trust

Bird on hand by Luca Venturi Oslo

(This post was originally shared at Leading by DESIGN, where I’m a team member. It is written for our LEAD 365 alumni, although all are welcome to read it.)

As I write this post, there are 6,289 books on trust available under the Business and Money category on Amazon. What can we possibly add to all that wisdom? Maybe nothing. But please keep reading anyway.

Trust is foundational to great teams, and so far—even in those 6,289 books—no one has developed the magic, one-size-fits-all formula to create trust on a team. Every team is different, but the need for high trust in order to be a high-functioning team is a constant.

There are different aspects to trust, like trusting someone’s integrity (believing that the person will do what they say they will do), trusting their intent (believing that they are trying to reach the same goal you are working to accomplish), and trusting their ability (believing that they have the skills and talent needed to do the task).

For example, I trust my brother’s integrity very much. I know I could show up with family and dog in tow if everything fell apart and he would take us in, no questions asked. I know that if I’m stranded somewhere in the middle of the night, he would come get me.

As much as I trust his integrity as a person, I would not work on a political campaign with him. Our political philosophies are quite different, and we might have very different goals in mind while working on the same campaign. (One of us must be looking for an opportunity for sabotage.)

He’s a graphic artist, and a very good one. I trust his talent and skill to design just about anything, but if I need open-heart surgery, there’s no way he’d be the one I go to. While I trust his talent as an artist, I do not trust his ability in the surgical theater.

These three aspects of trust all need to be present to make a great team. You need to trust each other’s integrity, intent, and ability—if any one of these are missing, you won’t accomplish as much as a team.

The big question is, how can a leader develop this kind of trust on their teams? Team retreats and blind trust walks certainly help, but the real secret to building a trusting team lies with you, the leader, being willing to communicate and model every day what trust looks like on a team. Here’s some of what we believe is needed to have a high-trust team:

Trusting teams have vulnerable leaders. As the leader, you have to model the kind of behavior you want to see. If you want your people to get to know each other’s root system, then you have to model that by being honest about who you are.

Trusting teams have leaders who admit their mistakes. Talk about being vulnerable! Some of the most powerful leadership stories I’ve heard start with a leader standing up in front of a team admitting a mistake, asking for forgiveness, and seeking to change and rebuild strained relationships. This is really hard, and it’s really powerful.

Trusting teams have leaders who consistently and openly give and ask for feedback. Although initially people might feel uncomfortable when receiving hard feedback (that discomfort is part of being human), over time, if you consistently give both positive and constructive feedback (remember that five-to-one ratio?) your team will develop great trust in you because they will always know where they stand. It’s hard not to trust someone who invests so much in you that they give you constant feedback.

Trusting teams have leaders who engage in conflict, and who help their team members do the same. It’s hard to trust someone who conveniently looks the other way when a performance issues comes up, or constantly finds a reason to delay a hard conversation. The healthiest teams engage in conflict in a healthy way, and, once again, that starts with you.

Trusting teams have leaders who trust each and every team member. If you doubt the integrity, intent, or ability of anyone on your team, how can you expect to build a high-trust team? If there are people on your team you do not trust, you need to do something about it.

This week, as you think about this part of building a great team, take a few minutes to think about your own team. How much trust does your team display? How might you foster trust on your team? How might you be hurting your own efforts to build trust without even realizing it? What does your team need the most from you in order for their trust to grow?

Until next week, lead on.
Meredith

Image by Luca Venturi Oslo. Used under CC BY 2.0 license.

Posted in Building a Great Team and tagged , , , , , , .

80 Comments

  1. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea
    shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go
    back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to
    tell someone!

  2. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to enhance
    my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  3. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it is
    time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.

    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this
    article. I desire to read even more things about it!

  4. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of
    plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of exclusive content I’ve
    either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without
    my authorization. Do you know any techniques to help stop content from being stolen? I’d definitely appreciate
    it.

  5. Greetings I am so delighted I found your web site, I really found you by mistake,
    while I was looking on Aol for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a fantastic post and a all
    round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t
    have time to read it all at the moment but
    I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so
    when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.
    asmr 0mniartist

  6. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but great
    topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for
    this info for my mission.

  7. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website
    before but after browsing through a few of the
    posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted
    I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

  8. Can I simply just say what a relief to uncover someone that genuinely knows what they’re discussing
    on the web. You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More and more people need to check this out and understand this side of your story.
    I can’t believe you are not more popular because you certainly have the gift.

  9. Somebody essentially help to make critically articles
    I’d state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and to this point?

    I amazed with the research you made to make this actual put up extraordinary.
    Excellent process!

  10. We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.

    Your website provided us with helpful information to work on. You have performed an impressive task and our whole group can be thankful to you.

  11. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely
    unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic
    but I had to ask!

  12. I’m more than happy to find this web site. I need to to thank
    you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new stuff in your blog.

  13. This is the right site for everyone who wants to find out about this topic.
    You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not
    that I really will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject which has been discussed for years.

    Great stuff, just excellent!

  14. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled
    blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking
    more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  15. Hello I am so delighted I found your webpage, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Digg for
    something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a tremendous post
    and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS
    feeds, so when I have time I will be back
    to read more, Please do keep up the excellent job. 0mniartist
    asmr

  16. Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and
    would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  17. Your style is really unique compared to other people I
    have read stuff from. Thanks for posting
    when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this
    blog. 0mniartist asmr

  18. I am now not positive where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I must spend a while finding out more or figuring out more.

    Thank you for great info I used to be in search of this information for my mission. asmr 0mniartist

  19. First off I would like to say excellent blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to
    ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to know how you
    center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had a tough time
    clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.

    I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just
    trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions
    or hints? Thanks!

  20. What i don’t realize is in fact how you’re now not
    actually much more neatly-appreciated than you might be right now.
    You are very intelligent. You know therefore considerably relating to this
    subject, produced me individually believe it from
    so many varied angles. Its like women and men are not involved until it’s something to do with
    Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. Always care for it
    up!

  21. Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring
    on other websites? I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some
    stories/information. I know my readers would
    enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

  22. Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but
    after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and
    I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  23. Hello there! This article couldn’t be written any better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He constantly kept talking about this. I’ll forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he’ll have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  24. Superb blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew
    of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about in this
    article? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please
    let me know. Cheers!

  25. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter
    to be really something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your
    next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  26. Have you ever thought about including a little bit
    more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and
    everything. However think about if you added some great graphics
    or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this site could certainly be one of the best in its field.

    Fantastic blog!

  27. I am really loving the theme/design of your site.
    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?
    A number of my blog audience have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but
    looks great in Opera. Do you have any suggestions to
    help fix this issue?

  28. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long
    as I provide credit and sources back to your site?

    My website is in the exact same niche as yours and my users would really benefit from
    a lot of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks a lot!

  29. I am extremely inspired together with your writing
    skills and also with the layout in your blog. Is this a paid subject
    matter or did you modify it yourself? Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing,
    it is rare to peer a great weblog like this one today..

  30. At this time it seems like Expression Engine is the best blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  31. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I
    thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely
    you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉
    Cheers!

  32. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from.
    thank you

  33. Great beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend your
    website, how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a applicable deal.
    I had been tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast offered shiny transparent idea.

    Also visit my web site: gamegamma.com.tw

  34. I think this is among the most vital information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The website style is ideal,
    the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  35. First of all I would like to say terrific blog!

    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing.

    I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas
    out. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?
    Thank you!

  36. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you can be a great
    author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come
    back in the future. I want to encourage one to continue your great
    posts, have a nice evening!

  37. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide
    credit and sources back to your blog? My blog is in the exact
    same niche as yours and my users would truly benefit from
    a lot of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Many thanks!

  38. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend
    who had been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the
    fact that I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
    Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your web page.

  39. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you
    knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new
    updates.

  40. I?m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that?s both equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail
    on the head. The issue is something not enough men and
    women are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy
    I stumbled across this during my hunt for something relating to
    this.

    Here is my homepage; Dario

  41. hi!,I really like your writing very a lot! proportion we communicate more about your post on AOL?
    I need an expert on this area to unravel my problem. Maybe that’s you!
    Taking a look forward to peer you.

  42. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark
    your blog and will eventually come back down the road. I want to encourage
    you to ultimately continue your great writing, have a nice evening!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *