The Model for Building Trust in Teams

model for building trust

The Model for Building Trust Among Team Members

Trust is a fundamental element for building teamwork. Trust means that team members are reliable, accountable and will treat people with respect.


But trust needs to be earned. When new teams are formed, trust is usually low because team members don’t know each other well and tend to want to feel each other out.


For teams to move from the first stage of team development to the second stage they need to participate in setting ground rules, goals and objectives, procedures etc. They need to organize themselves and this requires discussion for everyone to give their input on decisions.

Making and Keeping Agreements

When people keep their agreements, trust is gained. When agreements are broken so is trust. An agreement is a verbal or written commitment from one party to another.  Agreements need to be clear, so the expectations are clear as well.  Fuzzy agreements create a potential for conflict and confusion.


Think of a recent situation when someone did not keep their agreement. How did you feel? Has this happened often with this person? What is your trust level on a scale of 1 to 10 for this person?


People should only make agreements or commitments that they can keep.


When people keep the agreements and commitments they become credible. We can believe that what they say they will be done.  They become dependable.


Treating others with fairness and respect gives people credibility and makes them trustful.


When people are consistently truthful we know we can trust their words and actions. When we feel we are being listened to and understood we feel we can be open with that person.


Open people are unafraid about admitting their mistakes. They have nothing to hide.


The above elements lead to trust in relationships and among team members.


Everyone can perhaps be better at one of these elements. Review the descriptions and choose one thing you can work on to gain greater trust from others.

model for building trust