Patrick Lencioni suggested that the foundation of an effective team was trust and from my experience of working with businesses and the research done for my studies I would agree. Building genuine trust is a long term investment, but mistrust and office politics are costly… They are time-consuming, particularly in terms of the time and energy spent second-guessing and worrying. But more than that it is demotivating for everyone in the business. In contrast where people trust their leaders and each other, there is more real team working and business results are improved and easier to achieve. Trust is a two way exchange… When teams feel encouragement and support, rather than fear of blame they often “step up” more or “go the extra mile”. Where leaders and managers trust their employees they have confidence in them and the employees themselves can sense this. Interestingly though for most people, the feeling of being trusted leads to an increased desire to be trustworthy and so the cycle goes on. So ask yourself… If you are being honest, how much trust is there in your business? Is it at all levels and two way? How do you know that to be true? If you think that the levels of trust in your business can be improved then keep an eye out for next week’s blog, as there are some important principles of building trust that I will cover next time.