7 reasons why trust is critical to team success

Success depends on good teamwork. However you define success in your organisation, it is likely that achieving it needs more than one person to do the work. People work better together when they trust one another.  Here are 7 reasons why trust is critical to teamwork and success.

#1 Focus is on the work

When teams trust each other the focus is on the work that needs to be done. People are committed to team success and not distracted worrying about individual agendas.

#2 Collaborative working actually happens

Truly collaborative work is underpinned by trust that the other people involved will do their bit on time and to the standard required. It is more than this though that truly brings team success. Productive discussions happen when people trust one another enough to be open and not worry about saving face. This is how the true power of teamwork is harnessed.

#3 More creativity and innovation

Great ideas come from people who are willing to move beyond their comfort zone. It is much easier for people to do this when they feel supported as part of a team. This is when the ‘what if’ and ‘how about’ conversations happen more readily. People are not concerned about being judged for their suggestions.

#4 Learning is a priority

In a team where there is high trust the priority is on learning from each other and from what happens. This is important for when things go well and particularly so for when mistakes happen. In a trustful team mistakes are seen as great learning opportunities for everyone.

#5 Communication is strong

For teams to work effectively and efficiently there has to be good communication. People need to know what is happening and changing that may affect their work. When team members trust one another they naturally share more openly about what is happening. More than this though the team that trusts one another are really good at handling conflict in an open and constructive way. People feel able to say what they really think rather than having to play political games.

#6 Positive relationships

Trust underpins good relationships. This is true for any relationship. Trust between team members allows the relationships to become strong and able to withstand difficult times. It is much more likely that someone will be willing to step beyond their comfort zone if they have a relationship with other team members that mean they feel supported. It is this that drives progress faster.

#7 Motivation and inspiration

Being part of a good team feels great. Belonging is a very strong human need and being part of a team where trust is strong fulfils this need. It is both inspiring and motivating to work in this environment. This means that goals are achieved much quicker and often much better than originally envisaged.


So there are 7 reasons why trust is critical to team success. The brilliant thing is that it is catching. If one team within an organisation works in this way it becomes very clear to others that something different and better is happening. Naturally they want to be part of success so start to copy and learn from what they see.

This begs the question ‘how do you build trust in a team?’ That’s a different article and you can see some thoughts on this here.

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