Assessing Levels of Trust in your Team

Kieran Watman

”The glue that holds all relationships together - including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.”

 -Brian Tracy

In these testing times, where teams are working remotely, trust is more important than ever.  Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and that includes the relationship that exists between members of your team.  Trust is the building block upon which alliance and co-operation is formed.   It is the foundation of teamworking – the platform upon which all other components of team working need to sit in in order for the group to perform effectively.   

Without trust, you have no Team.  

How will I know whether trust exists in my team? 

Good question.  Trust is intangible and therefore not always easy to spot.  It can be easier to identify what is wrong with your team rather than what is right.  

Here are some behaviours to watch out for, which should alert you to the fact that you may have issues of distrust in your team.

Afraid to admit weaknesses

Team members who don’t trust each other (or you, their leader) will not ask for help.  They are afraid to admit their weaknesses in case those limitations are used against them.  But, this leaves you and your team exposed to mistakes.

They won’t help each other out

In the same way that the coronavirus has seen stock piling shoppers concerned only with their own needs, individuals in a team that lacks trust will only look out for themselves.  Teams have to collaborate to perform effectively and this means putting the needs of the team before any personal agendas.

Cliques are formed

Cliques will form with 1 or 2 members discussing issues off-line, amongst themselves – but never with the whole team.  This intra-team conflict exacerbates the feeling of distrust.  It erodes the meaning of ‘teamwork’ and will eventually create a toxic work environment.

Suspicious of each other

Members of a team who don’t trust each other are suspicious of the intentions of their peers, or their leader, and believe there to be ‘hidden agendas’.   Often, their suspicions are incorrect but they either fail or don’t want to see the positive intentions that lie behind the behaviour.    And so the rot sets in.

Unproductive Meetings

Meetings will not be productive as some are afraid to speak up and say their piece, and contentious issues are not openly discussed. 

Sound familiar?

If you have observed some of these behaviours in your own team, chances are you need to work to build greater levels of trust.   Find out how in our blog “Steps to Building Trust”.   Or, why not look at our programme ‘Trust for Teams