Thursday, April 30, 2009

Collaboration begins with Trust

There is a really good article at HBR about the value of Trust in the workplace. I've written about trust before on this blog and on another blog as I think it is such an important component of people and groups working together. Trust is the foundation that you build everything else upon. Without trust, you can't build much of value.

I've had the opportunity to participate in several corporate adventure races(two in NZ and one in Australia) and they are terrific and amazing experienes. In those settings, you learn first hand about how important trust is for the team to succeed. If competing in a long adventure race, you will find that you and your teammates will all need to trust one another in order to be successful and in order to even complete the race. Each of us have strengths and weaknesses and by trusting one another and working together, we can achieve a better result than we could if we worked alone.

I've seen teams that work well because they trust one another. I've also seen teams not work well because one or more of the team members can't be trusted. Lack of trust completely undermines a team's effectiveness. Completely. I've seen individuals who simply can't be trusted and when they break trust with others, their effectiveness going forward is virtually destroyed.

If you are working with others, think about trust in the group. Even if you are not part of a team today, think about your trustworthiness in all you do. Be a person who can be trusted.

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