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Trust and Teamwork

Webster's Dictionary defines trust as the “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Many managers believe that one of the main keys to the survival of any business is trust. Trust is a critical issue in any type of relationship because a relationship without trust is not really a relationship at all.

Unfortunately, one of the problems that managers encounter when dealing with teams is that managers cannot automatically instill trust into their associates. Even with the appropriate individuals on a team, a team that does not build a trusting relationship is not an effective team.

Research shows that trust is the basis for creating a healthy work environment. According to Heathfield (2002a), trust is the necessary precursor for the following:

  • Feeling able to rely upon another person;

  • Cooperating as a group;

  • Taking thoughtful risks;

  • Experiencing believable communication.

In other words, “trust forms the foundation for effective communication, associate retention, motivation, and contributions of discretionary energy”.

Trust does not come easy. One has to earn it. However, the reverse is true when it comes to breaking it; it only takes a second to break someone's trust.

Question to you this week is, how trustworthy are you? Can others in your circle totally depend and rely on you? Can others feel safe around you? 

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