What is Trust?

A big part of our last show on rebuilding a damaged team included the importance in the team of trust.

What is trust?

One formulation suggests it is:

  • Predictability – I know what you will do and can guess with high confidence your future behavior in certain circumstances
  • Value Exchange – we engage in mutually beneficial exchanges
  • Delayed Reciprocity – we offer value without needing an immediate return; when others offer value without a demand, we remember and reciprocate later
  • Exposed Vulnerability – all progress involves some risk, so team members have to feel safe taking risks and doing things that make them feel vulnerable –or else they won’t take the risk, and thus won’t make progress

I think that makes a great list of things to look at when seeing why trust has eroded, and finding ways to fix it.

For example, we could ask team members to rate each other and themselves in these four areas, and define clear social expectations and rules of engagement around them.

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