INFOGRAPHIC: 5 Tips for Building Trust in a Virtual Team
| By Terence Brake
Virtual team performance is heavily dependent on achieving trust in relationships
In very short-term projects, swift trust might be sufficient. By swift trust, I mean the condition in which team members assume trust is present because they have no other choice; they must trust immediately to get results fast. Swift trust tends to be fragile and is inadequate over longer term projects.
What is trust?
Trust is a decision. You decide to trust or not to trust. Trust means you have confidence in others - you can rely on them to fulfill promises, e.g. take care of your interests or meet your expectations. Distrust or ambivalence means you lack confidence – you are more suspicious and guarded. Trust connects people, distrust separates them. For Stephen M. R. Covey in The Speed of Trust (Simon & Schuster, 2006) , trust is a performance multiplier, not a soft, social virtue.
What are the components of trust?
Trust is made up of two components: character and competence.
- Character: Relates to how we go about getting results – it is the inner world that shapes our behaviours and includes our integrity, our motivations, caring, humility, and our ability to align our actions with our values.
- Competence: Relates to our abilities for achieving results based on attitudes, knowledge, skills, experiences, and education.
Both components are necessary for trust, but in short-term virtual projects more weight is placed on competence.
What are some key lessons about developing trust on virtual teams?