In every team building, bonding session or team effectiveness workshop we have ever run, the word trust comes up. Everyone knows the importance of having a high trustworthiness within a team. But how do you build trust? What are the key elements that make it up? How do we focus on something that is a bit hard to put a finger on?  

The trust equation provides lens for team members to have valuable conversations:

Credibility. saying what you know and feel. This allows us to share what we truly think and feel.  

Reliability. Having confidence in others that they will deliver on their promises. 

Intimacy. Feeling safe and secure in the knowledge that if I share something it will not be used against me in the future.  


If we work on these three elements trust has a high likelihood of being built. Critically however, self orientation or acting in self interest over own interest of the team will have a powerful negative effect – putting at risk the good work done on the others. 


Use this trust equation in a team setting to discuss the various elements. What can you do to improve the likelihood of increasing trust?