Trust?

Trust is the third prerequisite for collaboration. Time and transparency help build a platform on which trust can be established. People do work together with only a modicum of trust.  Little to no trust leads to transactional and short-term interactions which are a pale version of collaboration. Developing trust past the basics of public decorum is essential to working in teams and teams interacting with other teams. There are six key attributes that are prerequisites to trust. At a team level, they are a reflection of how the individuals on the team act. At a team of team level, these attributes attach to teams. The six attributes are:

  1. Reliability, in information and/or ideas, is a measure of consistency and usefulness.  Something is unreliable if it perceived to be a fabrication or does not fit the context. Reliability is not just an attribute of information or ideas but also of the person delivering the information.
  2. Transparency is the sharing of all relevant information, including motives. Unless all relevant data is shared trust is harder to establish than needed.
  3. Respect is a feeling of admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Respect contributes to the ability to hear and use the information being shared. Without respect, you are more apt to be shopping online than listening during a meeting.
  4. Goal alignment impacts every facet of trust. Some degree of goal alignment is required to establish enough of a relationship to work together. Individuals and teams don’t have to have perfect goal alignment although the closer the goals are aligned the easier it is for trust to be established.  The degree and the nuances of where goals are not aligned need to transparent. One of the reasons goal alignment is important is the role goal alignment plays in helping individuals interpret the behavior of those around them. Without some alignment and a good understanding of where goals are different, developing trust will be difficult.
  5. Credibility is a measure of whether ideas, information and/or a person or group are believable. Credibility and reliability are intertwined but not the same. If you are confused by the difference between credibility and trust the difference is illustrated when you consider that something can be believed (credible), but not trusted (reliable). Accuracy is a determination of whether something being shared is demonstrable and true.
  6. Accuracy, simply put, is a determination of whether something being shared is demonstrable and true.

Trust is the final prerequisite for collaboration. Arguably people can work together with very little trust if they have time. Working together is even better if there is transparency due to a deeper level of understanding of motives. However, simply having time and some degree to transparency is not the same as having a shared relationship, which requires trust.