“Trust is a product of vulnerability that grows over time and requires work, attention, and full engagement.” - Brene Brown

In part 2 of my blog series about building effective teams, I revealed five main areas of focus to develop effective healthcare teams. The first of those was building trust. 

Developing trust on your team is not easy, but it can start with you!  Below are a few behaviors to try:

  • Get to know those on your team - take time to ask them questions about themselves and to build rapport.
  • Be reliable - do what you say you are going to do.
  • Understand your role expectations and know your competence - this will allow you to...
  • … Learn from others and share your own knowledge 
  • Take ownership - don’t be afraid to ask questions, admit that “I don’t know,” and be up front about mistakes
  • Appreciate others’ knowledge and strengths
  • Strive to use effective communication - listen to others, deliver clear messages, be aware of body language and non-verbals
  • Maintain integrity - consistently strive to do the right — even if difficult — thing
  • Seek to understand and have empathy for others

I was privileged enough to be a part of a team for several years that developed a level of trust that was palpable. We came from different educational backgrounds, had varying years of experience, and held different roles. 

What our team had in common though, is that every member of that team would have been rated a 9 or 10 out of 10 on every single one of the above behaviors. Even through challenging times, being part of this team brought happiness and satisfaction that I hope all can feel in their work life. Start the ball rolling by picking a few of the above to focus on.

In the meantime, I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about leading with trust to check out this article about developing high-trust teams. And for team leaders, here are 12 leadership behaviors that establish trust. We can’t wait to hear how your trust-building journey progresses!


References and Resources:

Lencioni, P. M. (2007). The five dysfunctions of a team: A leadership fable. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass.

Drexler, A., Sibbet, D. and Forrester, R. (1993). Team performance model. 1st ed. San Francisco: The Grove Consultants International.

Trust Model: 

Tips to increase vulnerability-based trust: 

Brown, Brené. Rising Strong. First edition. New York: Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House, 2015

Covey, S. M. R., & Merrill, R. R. (2006). The speed of trust: The one thing that changes everything.

Megan Wittmann

Written by Megan Wittmann

Megan is a Client Engagement Manager at Mursion. Megan has also served as a Clinical Nurse, and has worked in healthcare education and organizational development.