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Home I'm stuck. I can't seem to develop trust in my team. What can I do?

I'm stuck. I can't seem to develop trust in my team. What can I do?


The world has been increasingly collaborative, with more work being done in groups, teams, partnerships, and collaborations. Thus, our ability to work well in a team setting has become an ever in-demand and a much needed skill. 

Successful teams build their relationship on trust. Trust encourages communication, and creativity. Whatever the size of the team you are leading or where you are leading from, understanding and applying strategies to improve trust within your team is essential. 

The elements of trust 

Our belief in someone’s reliability, expertise, or strength increases as our relationship with them is marked with these elements. 

A Harvard Business Review study assessed over 80,000 leaders to determine 3 elements that people consider as important in building trust. 

  1. Positive relationships. A leader’s ability to create positive relationships with individuals and groups affects people’s level of trust. 
  2. Knowledge or skill. How skilled, knowledgeable or how much of an expert a leader is in their field impacts how people trust them. 
  3. Consistency. When a leader’s words and actions align, the more people trust them. 

Assessing your skills in these 3 areas will allow you to identify areas of weakness and create appropriate solutions. 

Improving our ability to build trust in teams

  • Build positive relationships through compassion.  

Compassion is expressed through caring actions. A leader who displays care to their team is able to

  • understand the team’s emotional state, and be aware of the team’s concerns
  • place the needs of the group than own needs
  • Consider and accept input and perspective from team members 
  • Achieve a balance between producing results and the team’s wellbeing
  • Provide constructive or helpful feedback 

  • Increasing competency 

A leader is expected to do the right things on the job that benefit the team. Trust based on competency increases when a leader: 

  • makes sound decisions quickly
  • adapts and adjust well, especially in difficult situations
  • delivers results because of their knowledge and skills
  • seeks input from team members in order to make decisions

  • Improving consistency

Trust is developed over time. When a leader displays consistency in their words and actions over a period of time, trust develops. A leader improves their consistency when they: 

  • align their actions to personal values, vision and mission especially in situations that put a lot of pressure on them to compromise. 
  • show focus and attention on important team goals that lead to results.
  • display resilience or the ability to overcome failures. 
  • serve as a good role model to team members. 
  • Do what they say they are going to do. 

Do we have to be great at all of these elements to build trust in our teams? The truth is wherever we are in our journey of handling a team, all of us still have room for improvement. 

Assess yourself how you do in each, and try to improve on them through learning and application. Even a gradual 1% improvement on each element time and time again will make a big difference on how your team views you as a trustworthy leader. 

If you are in search of an amazing career opportunity in health care or in the mental health industry, check how a job board can expand your choices!

I'm stuck. I can't seem to develop trust in my team. What can I do?
Brandon Resasco