Why Is Trust Important In A Relationship?

The Importance of Trust in Teams

The Importance of Trust in Teams

Trust is the foundation on which effective teams are built. When team members trust each other, they can be vulnerable, take risks, have difficult conversations, and support each other to accomplish shared goals. Distrust breeds self-protection and hidden agendas that undermine teamwork.

As Lencioni writes, “Trust lies at the heart of a functioning, cohesive team.” This article explores what it means to have trust in a team, why it matters so much, and how to build more of it.

What Does it Mean to Trust Your Team?

What Does it Mean to Trust Your Team

Trust means both relying on people and believing they have good intentions. You count on one another to follow through and have each other’s backs. Trust also involves vulnerability – showing your authentic self, weaknesses, and all.

Trust enables open communication. Ideas can be debated on merit, not politics. You can voice concerns early without fear of reprisal. Giving and receiving feedback gets easier.

Trust provides a sense of safety. You assume good faith instead of jumping to conclusions. People can admit mistakes and limitations without shame. Requests for help don’t signal incompetence. This psychological safety encourages speaking up, risk-taking, and personal growth.

Finally, trust implies granting autonomy. Micromanaging dissipates when you feel confident in each other’s abilities. The team becomes empowered to take initiative and solve problems creatively.

Why Team Trust Matters More Than You Think

Why Team Trust Matters More Than You Think

You know, team trust when you feel it. Meetings flow. Hard truths get discussed. Conflicts resolve more easily. Having each other’s back breeds commitment to the shared mission.

But a culture of distrust corrodes team effectiveness slowly out of sight:

  • Hidden agendas and self-protection replace truth-seeking
  • Communication goes underground
  • Cooperation gives way to politicking
  • Risk-taking and innovation stall
  • Micromanaging and second-guessing proliferate

Before you know it, productivity and morale suffer from corrosive distrust. Priorities become about self-preservation first and team results second. Lencioni calls this the “ultimate dysfunction.”

The damage spreads further still. Employees disengage, turnover increases, and tribalism takes over. Customer service and quality drop next. Entire organizations can drift into underperformance or crisis through erosion of trust.

Measuring the Business Benefits of Trust

Measuring the Business Benefits of Trust

The research quantifies the performance upside of team trust. Google’s two-year Aristotle study of over 180 teams confirmed psychological safety as the #1 predictor of effectiveness. Teams scoring high on trust and vulnerability outperformed the others.

Additional research shows that for every 1% improvement in trust, organizations gain a 3% increase in total return to shareholders. Trust also boosts employee engagement by up to 106%, with cascading benefits for retention, innovation, productivity, and profits.

Organizations reap immense rewards by cultivating trust in teams. But why exactly does it provide such an advantage?

4 Reasons Trust Fuels Team Performance

Trust Fuels Team Performance

Trust enables teams to:

  1. Communicate skillfully – When trust abounds, hard truths get discussed early instead of avoiding tense issues. Giving and receiving feedback comes easier. Listening goes deeper, ideas flow freely, and decisions improve.
  2. Commit completely – Loyalty, accountability, and dedication increase when teammates have your back. Priorities align to what best serves the team rather than competing agendas.
  3. Cooperate creatively – Joint problem-solving thrives with trust. People pitch in to help rather than protect turf. More innovation happens when you feel safe to experiment.
  4. Coordinate seamlessly – The ultimate sign of trust is the ability to delegate. Confidence in each member’s abilities allows the team to self-organize around a shared mission.

Rebuilding Lost Trust

Rebuilding Lost Trust

Alas, no team maintains perfect trust permanently. Conflicts, mistakes, and misunderstandings inevitably erode confidence in even close-knit groups.

Restoring broken trust requires sincerity, persistence, and accountability from all. Moving forward, each person is to reflect on their role in the breakdown. Common remedies include:

  • Apologizing for harm caused, listening to those aggrieved
  • Making amends wherever possible
  • Identifying key relationship stress points
  • Establishing new norms and boundaries
  • Following through consistently on expectations
  • Working collaboratively before returning to autonomous work

With earnest intent and effort, teammates can rebuild the mutual reliance, belief, and vulnerability shared by high-trust groups. And organizations can rekindle broad engagement and performance lift when trust gets prioritized consistently across teams.

Trust At All Levels

Trust At All Levels

Because trust exerts such gravity on results, it requires nurturing at all levels of an organization:

  • Among top executives and boards
  • Between leaders and direct reports
  • Laterally across functions
  • Up and down the org chart
  • With external partners
  • Even with customers

This 360-degree trust lifts organizations towards greater alignment, agility, and achievement. It starts with leaders discussing integrity, care, and competence. But responsibility resides with every employee to uphold promises, engage respectfully, develop self-awareness, and earn each other’s confidence daily.

Trust proves easy to take for granted but hard to restore once lost. Protect this precious resource starting today – the performance dividends will follow.

In Summary

  • Trust enables team effectiveness through skillful communication, full commitment, creative cooperation, and seamless member coordination.
  • High-trust teams outperform others on profitability, productivity, retention, and shareholder returns.
  • Trust requires nurturing at all levels – between executives, managers, employees, customers, and partners.
  • Restoring broken trust demands sincerity, persistence, and accountability from all sides.

Prioritize trust-building in your teams for sustainable high performance. The rewards for individuals, teams, and whole organizations will follow.

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