Most people would agree that effective collaborations between individuals, teams and organisations requires trust. However, despite this overwhelming acceptance of its importance – most people when asked – how do you do trust, have to give it some thought before they can provide a coherent answer.
For Business and Research leaders who rely on effective collaboration for successful innovation this short blog provides a few helpful pointers on ‘how to do trust’.
For most people ‘how we do trust’ is a largely unconscious process. It is made up of lots of do’s, don’ts and ‘warning flags’ we have collected over the years as we make our way in the world. They can be logical – don’t trust someone who repeatedly lets you down or be cautious when someone has a limited track record. They can also be less well founded – don’t trust a man with a tie, don’t trust a man without a tie or there are people who will judge you by how well you have cleaned your shoes..
Whether logical or less rational, the key thing is to become more aware of these personal preferences. To be clear, this is not some deep therapy excursion, but rather thinking through of some of your most recent relationships and ask yourself – why did this one grow, whilst another one did not? What did you do or not do, what did your prospective collaborator do or not do?
Why is this important? Although the way we build and / or give our trust to others is largely unconscious, it is very likely that the things we look for as signs of trustworthiness are the same things that we also project out when we want to gain other people’s trust. This is fine when there is a match, but if not there is a potential hidden obstacle to the development of the relationship.
As an engineer with poor spelling, it took me far too long to notice the importance that many people (particularly non-engineers) place on correct spelling as a marker for the overall quality of my work. As a result, I am sure more than a few opportunities have passed me by.
So, as a starting point, the message here is to be clear on those markers that are important to you and be mindful others may use different have preferences and metrics in developing trust..
Ironically one of the things that can work against building trust is openly ‘bringing it to the table’. In the same way as we have all been to workshops or meetings where the facilitator puts up a ground rule that says “We will have fun”- the immediate response is usually a groan from the audience and we move on. To avoid the same scenario occurring for trust it is better that trust is developed through the way we work together.
For us at Cambium designing in the development of trust is a key component of the way our collaborative engagement processes like Collaborative Innovation and New Market Anticipation are deployed. Both of these are successful precisely because of the level of trust that is built up within and between teams working across functional and organisational boundaries.
Similarly to message above about markers and metrics for trust, Cambium has spent many years developing a deep understanding of how trust can be developed and maintained in teams focused on innovation.
Learn more about how we “do trust” and to enable faster, smarter innovation Alternatively, follow one of the links below to discover how our services use trust as a key foundation of our innovation acceleration portfolio of services.