How to Build Trust in Teams in 2022

Trust is a huge driver of productivity and performance.  To build a High Performing Team, you must first Build Trust.

It’s very hard to measure Trust so it is often something we take for granted in the workplace.

Although it is hard to measure, I am sure you notice when it’s missing!

So how do you Build Trust In Teams… Intentionally? Deliberately?

In the short clip below from a recent Great Managers MasterClass, we discuss;

1. The foundational “Starting Point” of all trust in teams

2. Why Self-Awareness and Self-Management are key Leadership competencies for all managers who want to build a high performing team

3. The 5 steps that will allow you to intentionally and deliberately Build Trust in teams


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Trust, Culture & Results

I’m going to focus on the link between Trust, Culture and the Results your team or organisation will achieve. It’s going to enable you to Build Trust deliberately and intentionally in your teams.  I’m going to show you:

  • How to read the signs when trust is present and when trust is absent.
  • Why trust is essential in building a high performing team and a high performing workplace.
  • How to skillfully and deliberately build trust – so that you don’t leave it to chance (like too many people do).


Do you Trust Yourself?

We all have our own “patterning” about trust that comes from our life experiences. It’s very important to be aware of this because this is what we are bringing into our relationships at home and at work. Ask yourself, “Do I trust myself?”

Self-Trust comes from keeping your word to yourself.

It comes from believing in yourself, knowing what your strengths are, and knowing that we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses.

It also comes from following through with your goals. You must be careful about how many times you say you’re going to do something, and then not doing it. This can break your Self-Trust and Self-Trust is very important.

Treat yourself with as much love and respect as you would someone else. This is essential for building Self-Trust.

To Build Trust you need to be Self-Aware

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We talk a lot about Self-Awareness in the Great Managers Academy and how essential this skill is for leaders and managers.

To Build Trust you need to be Self-Aware. You need to know yourself and you need to be tuned in to yourself and others.

If you’re not tuned in, you’re not going to be aware of how other people are experiencing you. Are you being authentic?

Trust also comes from your values. Are you truly living your values?

Values like Respect and Integrity are essential for trust.

Our brains are constantly classifying the environment around us. For example, deciding if a person we meet is friend… or foe?

To Build Trust you need to Self-Manage

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Self-Management is about managing emotions. If you’re not managing your emotions you can be creating an environment that’s not safe for people.

Effective Self-Management is being able to respond to situations rather than react.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Patrick Lencioni talks about this in his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Trust allows us to be vulnerable and avoid instinctive patterning kicking in and taking us out.

There’s always a little bit of risk associated with Trust. But knowing that feeling of vulnerability is normal, you will be able to override any instinctive reaction.

Importantly, you actually have to give trust to get trust. This a very important part of being a leader. You have to give trust to get trust.

If you’re waiting for people to prove themselves trustworthy, you’re actually looking for ways not to trust them because of the way our brains classify. Threat is our default state, remember.

Emotions that are out-of-control destroy Trust for yourself and for others.

So remember emotions are contagious and your emotional tone will set the tone for your team.

To Build Trust you need Quality Communication

Quality Communication involves sending clear messages, making sure that your messages are understood and listening attentively – listening with the intent to understand.

It’s also about congruency; that your verbal and non-verbal messages are aligned.

Be aware of what you’re doing with your facial expressions and your gestures.

Talk straight in a skilful way.

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Give honest feedback from a place of helping people grow rather than being punitive or punishing in your approach.

I’m working in an organisation at the moment where their environment is very punishing. People are very defensive and they are not even aware of it because it’s part of the environment that’s been created.

So Trust involves interpersonal engagement, connection and relatedness.

To Build Trust you must Role-Model Trust

As a manager, it’s so important that you step into your Leadership – your team wants you to lead.

So set clear expectations for your team about results, behaviours and standards. Be clear and open about these and make sure you right any wrongs.

Don’t let things escalate.

Don’t let things fester.

Never tolerate behaviours that go against your values or your code of conduct. That’s very important for trust. People are watching what you do… you’re on show as a leader.

You must behave respectfully. Walk your talk.

It’s important that you’re delivering results. Because if you don’t, they won’t.

It’s important that you’re encouraging learning and improvement. You should have a continuous improvement approach.

It’s important that you keep your commitments.  And if you can’t for some reason, you’re communicating with everyone involved. You’re then practising accountability, and setting up a foundation for accountability.

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