5.6 Developing trust
A reasonable degree of trust is an essential ingredient of any successful relationship. Without trust, communication will deteriorate because people will begin to hide their views or try to impose them.
Each member of a team must take some responsibility for the development of trust, although team leaders and managers have the greatest responsibility and the greatest influence. Trust is likely to develop when people listen to and respect each other’s views, irrespective of whether or not they agree with them. Then they are able to share their ideas and views without fear of recrimination.
A team manager can help to ensure the development of trust by involving team members in setting team and individual goals and by giving the team members the necessary autonomy to carry out their tasks without undue interference. Managers should take care, however, that delegating responsibility to team members does not result in abdicating responsibility – that is, ceasing to monitor the performance of team members. A team must also have ways of monitoring and giving feedback on the performance of its members. Any effective team will need to conduct regular reviews.
The higher the level of trust a group has, the easier it will be to deal with conflict when it (almost inevitably) occurs.