Trust is the answer!

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Can a team perform sustainably with low trust? What is trust? How do I know if I trust my teammates?  

These questions seem so obvious as I write them. And yet I sense that on many occasions we avoid asking & answering them in order to avoid the implications.  

I have had the good fortune to lead or be a member of many teams over 30 years. Now as a coach I also get the chance to work with many teams. This longitudinal experience and new perspective is insightful. 

So back to the questions. 

  1. A) Can a team performsustainablywith low trust? No. 
  2. B) What is trust?

There is a lot written about this of course. For me, trust in a work context is 2 part: ‘expertise trust’ - can this person do what they say they can, + ‘personal trust’ - will they do what they say they can.  

  1. C) How do I know if I trust my teammates?

Work your way around the team table in your mind, and ask yourself about expertise trust and personal trust. It will lead you to ask for example… do they have the experience to know what to do well, & if not have they been open to ask for help from the team? Have they made promises to do things in the past & not fulfilled their promises, did they realise, did they think about the implications of their actions? 

….which leads to a 4th question 

  1. D) If I don’t trust my teammates enough, is it too late, or can I do something?

It is not too late. And yes you do need to do something. When teammates challenge each other and find resolutions, remaining objective not personal, when they show vulnerability, when they find shared values & commit to a common purpose, then there is a real chance that trust will follow.

Peter Soer
Peter Soer
Peter combines experience as a coach, marketing leader & someone who has faced the fear of being found out. He harnesses this experience with his natural optimism & determination, to help people thrive in their work and enjoy the life they want. To achieve our dreams, we have 2 resources, time and energy – so use them well.

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