Trust: A critical factor in your team’s success

Right or wrong? Teams that practice good teamwork contribute to the success of an organization.

Not just “true,” but blatantly true.

The fact may be plain and simple, but starting a successful team, leading a successful team or being part of a successful team is not that simple and easy. The sticky word is “successful”.
Creating a team is easy. Sitting in the executive chair can be pretty easy. Team membership can only mean showing yourself.

but successful? Hold on and wait a second.

This article examines two prerequisites for team success. For each requirement, we examine specific action items to help you and your team meet those requirements.
We start with trust.

Trust: The basis of a successful team

A team that builds its harmony on trust enjoys the ease and enthusiasm that brings success. In fact, this foundation of trust makes the harmony all the sweeter.

Steven Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People explains: “Trust is the highest form of human motivation. It brings out the very best in people. But it takes time and patience…”

Trust and team are almost synonymous. However, you cannot assume that trust will develop by itself as part of the team personality. Putting trust—what it means, how it works, and why it’s important—at the forefront of every team member can be a big step toward team success. A big step that needs your attention.

Here are three key benefits your business—and its customers—will experience when your team operates with a high level of trust.

Increased efficiency — Because team members trust everyone to have their responsibilities, everyone can carry out their specific roles more fully. Reducing distractions increases efficiency.

Improved unit — The more each member of a team trusts other members, the greater the strength of the team. This unit strengthens the team’s commitment to fulfill its purpose.

mutual motivation — When two (or more) people trust each other, each consciously and unconsciously seeks to maintain the trust of the other. This motivation inspires every team member to strive for top performance.

So how do you build trust as a fundamental team asset?
Here is the short answer: Establish a clear structure and process to foster trust. Team members want to trust each other from the start. However, if specific trust-building tools and tactics are missing, they will have a hard time building that trust.
Listed below are three qualities that create a basis of trust between team members. Notice how each trait focuses on interactions between teammates.

open expression — Each team member needs ongoing opportunities to express their thoughts on the team’s purpose, process and procedures, performance and personality. From the start, the team leader can give each individual the opportunity to comment on the team’s actions. A truly effective leader ensures that even the quietest member is heard (and therefore increasingly comfortable speaking up). The more everyone on a team has the opportunity to express themselves openly, the more everyone gets used to speaking freely and being heard. Speaking openly is quickly becoming everyone’s pleasure, not just a manager’s responsibility.

information justice — For information relevant to the team and the function of the team, the rule “all for one and one for all” must apply. Information available to one team member must be available to all members. The secret of this property lies in its process. Standardized practices for sharing information on an equal footing are simple. A few minutes to set up a Team email address and holds a Five minute update every morning are two examples. These can establish patterns of behavior that everyone experiences what everyone experiences. The level of trust increases when no one fears receiving less information than others.

performance reliability — We trust people we can count on. We count on people to do what they say when they say they will. Diligent work on the first two traits will yield results on the third. Open expression and shared information increase team members’ performance reliability. Open communication can put everyone’s performance cards on the table: strengths and weaknesses, confidence and fears. With the same information, everyone knows what and how each other team member contributes to success. This knowledge leads to mutual support, praise and help. What’s more collaborative than that? When expectations of each team member are honest and open, each team member strives to work at full power for the good of the team.


The following five tips support the idea that Open expression, information fairness and performance reliability grow from how well a team communicates with each other. These tips are for the team leader and all team members.

1. Speak the conversation. Take responsibility for leading Open Expression. Don’t be afraid to share information about yourself. Encourage others to do the same. Keep it up.

2. Create the pattern. Establish the tell-and-ask pattern in team meetings and water cooler chats. Share information about your work and ask questions about your teammate’s work. It takes a little repetition to anchor the pattern. It’s worth it.

3. Distribute for discussion. Have the team be convinced that one reason for distributing information to everyone is so that it can be discussed. “New data” can be a permanent agenda item at meetings. “What do you think?” can be a constant question among team members.

4. Make good news. Usually, people want to get work done rather than fill roles. There is not much to say about his own role. Lots to tell about your own work. Create opportunities for people to conveniently share good news about their work. (Bulletin boards, email messages, lunch discussions for example.

5. Use a constructive question. Have your team adopt a specific question that does two things: draws attention to the team’s purpose and stimulates communication. The question can be an icebreaker at team meetings, a common follow-up question to “Hi! How are you?” in the halls, a regular part of the team reports. Sample questions: What progress have we made? What have we done that makes us proud? What obstacles have we overcome?