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Let’s Talk About Trust and Effective Collaboration

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

Leaders, so much is happening in your organization’s these days, it’s hard to tell whether team members are truly gaining compatible work ideals. You may have established culture and values statements that are posted and regularly referred to in meetings. You may be trying to measure gains in information sharing, process improvement and productive collaboration, but not getting clear data on results. After reading theHarvard Business Review article When Trust Takes Away from Effective Collaboration by Per Hugander, I found great takeaways to consider related to trust and collaboration that may jump start your process and result in the gains you are looking for.

This topic is important to me because during my work with leaders across the country, I repeatedly hear how important trust is to their organization’s success. A common refrain is that trust is fundamental to their relationships. And authentic, courageous trust, takes time to build. Most leaders feel that nothing transformational can be done without it. I would agree.

However, let’s think about what it means if the investment you make in building authentic trust, is in fact only superficial. How much progress can you make if your leaders are merely doing their best to appear trustworthy to stay out of the fray? What if your top lieutenant is withholding important data to undermine the work, to make themselves appear more capable. I think you will all agree, any of these scenarios are disastrous.

So what does this mean for teamwork and collaboration? In the article, Hugander makes a compelling statement, “Contrary to common belief, trust is not a prerequisite for teamwork and collaboration. Research on teaming and collective intelligence suggests that if we focus on getting a few things right, new constellations of people can collaborate effectively before they’ve had time to build trust.” Assuming the research is correct, this opens up an entirely new avenue for building success at the same time that you are stacking up the building blocks of trust, courage and the responsibility to speak the truth.

If you’d like to understand more about how the focus on trust can drive inertia and poor decision making, read on the enjoy a transformational way to think about collaboration, trust and the opportunity to rev up accuracy and decision making in your organization. Let me know if this resonates.

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