The secret ingredient that makes some teams better than others.

It trumps ideas, discounts, excellence in delivery, even ROI and more.

It’s called TRUST. Trust is however difficult to build and it becomes even more difficult now with the explosion of social networks.

I was mentioning in one of my previous articles my belief that while for the manager it is not easy to trust, for the employees with most potential, it is by far the highest form of motivation. It increases speed and decreases cost.


Why is trust so essential and how it can increase speed?

For one, if you are trusting your team to do certain things on their own or with slight monitoring only, then you can concentrate on other things which are maybe more crucial. Like building more verticals or focus on a new initiative… Makes sense?

Another reason why trust is crucial is that it encourages collaboration, facilitates open dialogue and allows team members to share their opinions, innovative ideas and questions they might have.

It also helps to increase productivity. Productivity in a team requires setting aside personal goals and motives and working together for the common goal of the team.  When each believes in the commitment of every member to the common goal, then only the team is free to work together productively.

Lets face one thing. Everyone makes mistakes, we all did and will continue to make them. If we however decide to let go of a team member it is only because of lack/losing trust. Trust in his/her character (most important) and trust in his/her skills.

We had a team building exercise the other day in the office and we were supposed to try and built the tallest building out of plain paper. Time was limited, about 5 minutes, and all other teams seemed pretty strong and with well defined strategies.

I started concentrating on building a strong structure and looked at the rest of the team, and especially at one particular individual and said, “you go ahead and concentrate on building it as high as possible”.

Both structure and height were essential, however, I chose to trust the rest of the team to deliver on height.

Once we finished the competition, we realized we won and were asked to give one reason why our “building” ended up being the tallest and strongest.

There was one main reason that set us apart from the other teams: “trust”. We trusted each other to deliver on our respective KPIs.

How to build trust in a team?



Rule no 1: We go first. As the team leaders we should be the ones to first model the behavior. (meaning we start trusting others)

Rule no 2: We start with the hiring interview itself. We ask ourselves “do I trust this person’s character?” If there is a slight doubt, we stop the interview and continue the search. Always remember that while we can teach skills it’s almost impossible to change characters.

Rule No 3. Communicate vision and values of the company to the team, be transparent, encourage the same in the team. We need to get everyone on the team to share information in an honest, meaningful way

Rule no 4: We have one on ones with each team member. Get to understand what are their career goals and how we can help them achieve the same. This will also help identifying each member’s strengths and weaknesses.

Rule no 5: We do weekly review meetings with the entire team where we listen, discuss milestones, status and ideas

Rule no 6: We concentrate on problems and how to solve them rather than personalities

Rule no 7: We give ongoing, useful feedback, so that everyone is aware where we stand


Rule no 8: We ask the hard questions to build and protect the team and company.

Like with all other precious things in life, trust is an expensive gift…chose carefully who you give it to.

Author: Adriana Usvat