Posted by: healingtheworkplace | October 19, 2008

Build Trust to Foster Collaboration

In the Leadership Challenge the authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner write about five practices and ten commitments of leadership. These practices and commitments were identified during many years of research.

Enabling Others to Act is the fifth practice and is accomplished by Fostering Collaboration AND Strengthening Others which requires that leaders…


At the heart of collaboration is TRUST. Relationships are built on TRUST. In fact, “the more trusted people feel, the better they innovate”. So, you may ask, “Why is this important?”

One of the many studies cited in the book, The Leadership Challenge, was undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The results of the study are quite interesting:

The #1 differentiator between the top 20% of companies surveyed and the bottom 20% was that the top performers trusted people to do their work. The more trusted people felt the better they were able to innovate, to create new products and services, and to increase the bottom line of the company they worked for.

Two other reasons to pay attention to this…

1.  People who are trusting are more likely to be happy and psychologically adjusted according to Psychologists. Happy and psychologically adjusted people make for a healthier workplace.

2.  It is easier to create and sustain effective teams if team members trust their leader and each other. Teams and teamwork are a necessary ingredient in today’s organizations.

What Can You Do to Create a Climate of Trust in Your Workplace?

  • Be the first to trust
  • Be willing to open up and take risks in your relationships
  • Be vulnerable
  • Consider alternative viewpoints
  • Recognize other people’s expertise
  • Be open to being influenced by others
  • Share information and resources
  • Be sensitive to other people’s needs
  • Listen to people and appreciate their points of view

Remember, the “heart of collaboration is trust”. Everyone in the workplace has a role to play in maintaining a climate of trust BUT the leader has to MODEL THE WAY. Leader’s have to be the first to TRUST.

“Leaders go first, as the word leader implies!”

I highly recommend the book The Leadership Challenge. It is based on years of research and one of the underlying assumptions of the book is that:

LEADERSHIP IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS–We all have the potential to be leaders and most of us will be leaders at some time in our lives.

The world needs leaders now more than any other time in history. Enjoy your week! Lesley



  1. Great Post!

  2. What a great post on trust. Many who are bullied/Peer Abused at work have a lot of problems with trust. Bullies have messed with their minds so badly but they can heal. Some of these suggestions are great steps. Thanks for sharing!

    Take Care,
    Elizabeth Bennett

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