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Trusting One Another: The Foundation of Real Teamwork

In a world where a company's success hinges upon the collaborative efforts of its teams, there is one element that stands out as paramount: Trust.

Patrick Lencioni, renowned for his expertise on organizational health, puts it succinctly when he describes trust as vulnerability-based. At its core, trust is about letting our guards down and being genuine with one another, revealing our failures, weaknesses, and fears.

For professionals, salespeople, and managers, understanding the principles of trust is not just advantageous; it's essential. Let's delve deeper into the profound impacts of trust and how we can foster it in our professional environments.

Why Building Trust is Crucial

When a team is rooted in trust, they engage in transparent and open communication. Their interactions are devoid of pretense, allowing each member to be candid about their missteps, seek assistance, and extend support without reservations.

The magic of vulnerability-based trust is its premise: if one is honest about their shortcomings, it diminishes the likelihood of them engaging in time-consuming and often fruitless political maneuvers.

However, when trust is absent, teams tend to manifest behaviors that are not only counterproductive but also detrimental to achieving tangible outcomes. These behaviors include:

  • Concealing their mistakes and inadequacies.

  • Reluctance in seeking help or offering constructive criticism.

  • Withholding assistance to peers outside their immediate scope.

  • Making assumptions about colleagues’ motives or abilities without seeking clarity.

  • Overlooking the expertise and experiences of peers.

  • Dedicating resources to manage personal appearances rather than working efficiently.

  • Holding onto past grievances.

  • Avoiding communal interactions.

So, how can teams surmount these challenges?

The answer lies in embracing vulnerability. By acknowledging "I was wrong," "I need assistance," "You excel in this area more than I," or "I apologize," teams can eliminate wasted energies on unnecessary facades and speculation.

It's vital for every team member, leaders included, to venture outside their comfort zones without assured favorable outcomes. This is the essence of vulnerability: taking risks, being genuine, and hoping the team reciprocates.

Building Trusting Teams with Alpstra

Trust, as Lencioni underscores, is the bedrock upon which successful teams are built. And while the idea of being vulnerable might seem daunting, it is the catalyst that drives real, impactful results.

For teams and organizations keen on fostering trust, the journey might seem long and arduous. Yet, with the right guidance and strategies, it's entirely achievable.

Alpstra specializes in assisting teams in cultivating the Five Behaviors that are the hallmark of thriving organizations, with trust being the foremost.

In Conclusion

In an increasingly competitive landscape, the ability to rely on and be vulnerable with one another isn't just a soft skill—it's a business imperative.

As we proceed in our series, we'll delve into Conflict and explore how trust, as a foundation, enables teams to engage in productive, unfiltered discussions and debates.

To learn more about creating Trusting Teams, reach out for expert guidance. Visit or shoot an email to

And remember, building trust is the first step, but maintaining it requires continual effort and understanding.

Stay tuned for our next blog where we spotlight Conflict and its interplay with trust in driving effective team discussions.


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