Triggering Team Trust

Stimulating students to improve the level of trust in a team

Trust is one of the key factors in a successful team. When team members trust each other, they are more likely to communicate openly and honestly, collaborate effectively and support one another. This, in turn, can lead to better outcomes and increased productivity.

There are three fundamental elements that need to be in place before trust can exist:

(1) positive relationships: the extent to which a team can form positive relationships;
(2) good judgment or expertise: the extent to which team members can inform each other and are competent;
(3) consistency/integrity: the extent to which team members walk their talk and do what they say they will do.

Even though most students know the preconditions for trust, in practice, it often turns out to be difficult to create and comply with team trust. By translating several preconditions with the group into a trust manifesto that all students agree to, there is an opportunity to address each other about impeded behaviour and the group becomes responsible for monitoring team trust. By making agreements about desirable and undesirable behavior explicit in advance, the group can monitor and correct itself.

Learning outcome 

  • The student is able to show trust and create and maintain trusting relationships