Understand the Value of Trust in the Workplace

Today, more than ever, trust is increasingly recognized as an essential asset to break down silos, foster collaboration, deepen teamwork, drive engagement, and manage the never-ending process of change in organizations and on teams.

When trust is present, people step forward and do their best work, together, efficiently. They align around a common purpose, take risks, think outside of the box, have each other’s backs, and communicate openly and honestly. When trusting relationships are absent, people jockey for position, hoard information, play it safe, and talk about — rather than to — one another.

It’s no secret that trusting relationships are what people most want and need at work. But despite the importance, need, and demand for it, teams struggle to build and sustain it for the long term. In all teams, trust will be built and trust will be broken. It comes with the territory of human relationships. It’s especially vulnerable during periods of rapid growth or change, or when the team is virtual.

This paper outlines the 3 dimensions of trust in a model that gives teams a common language to talk about trust-related issues constructively, take thoughtful action on them, sustain trust over time, and enable them to take trust to the next level. Specifically, the 3 C’s of Trust include:

  • Trust of Character sets the tone and direction of teamwork. This dimension represents mutually serving intentions and is the starting point of a team relationship. When teams have it, each member has faith that the others will behave as expected. Team members care about one another as people and hold each other’s best interest in mind. This is the foundational dimension of trustworthiness that teams need in order to be effective. Team members build this level when they do what they say they will do, engendering a mutual view of reliability and trust within the team. Any member who can’t deliver steps up, renegotiates the task, and is supported.
  • Trust of Communication fuels collaboration and makes it safe for team members to talk with each other directly — not only to provide information to one another but also to work through issues and concerns and offer feedback in the spirit of deeper learning and growth. Through Trust of Communication, teams practice transparency — they communicate openly and honestly. Members feel safe to admit mistakes and know where they stand with one another. This creates an environment of collaboration that teams need to thrive.
  • Trust of Capability opens the door for team members to contribute and to use their knowledge to make a difference. Members build it by leveraging the skills and abilities of one another, seeking each other’s input, engaging in decision making, and teaching new skills. Trust of Capability enables the innovation that teams need to be competitive.1

This white paper explores:

  • Why trust is nonnegotiable in teams.
  • The value of trust in the workplace and the business case for it.
  • Why leaders turn to trust-building.
  • The challenge of building trust.
  • How to strengthen trusting relationships.
  • What it takes to sustain these relationships.

Download the full white paper to learn more.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

If your organization understands the value of trust in the workplace and wants to help your teams collaborate together more effectively, partner with us for customized team development.

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