Trust and Interpersonal Relationships

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Trust and Interpersonal Relationships
Discussion questions


Trust and Interpersonal Relationships
When working in teams, is trust assumed or do team members have to earn trust?

As in every aspect of life where humans are involved, the trust is never assumed but earned. Trust between people is dynamic. Trust is earned through common experience between people. However, trust cannot be explained solely through the interaction between people, but also through very personal feelings. We tend to trust people who we consider trustworthy. The decision about person’s trustworthiness, though, is almost entirely subjective. We look at a person through the prism of our own past experiences, background, stereotypes, and prejudices (Caldwell and Clapham, 2003).

Consider how trust is lost when working in teams and how to keep trust among team members.

Trust can be lost among team members when one of the team members fails the rest. The team is similar to a chain. If one link fails it compromises the strength of the chain, the security of the chain, and even the purpose of the chain itself. The loss of trust can happen in multiple ways: the member doesn’t accomplish his task or the task is not done on time or in an agreed upon manner. How can this be prevented? Jackson (2008) proposes several solutions for trust building in the team: “focusing on what and not how,” defining parameters of operation, accountability and consequences.


Caldwell, Cam., Hayes, Linda., & Karri, Ranjan. (2008). Ethical Stewardship-Implications for Leadership and Trust. Journal of Business Ethics, (78), 158. Retrieved October 12, 2008, from CINAHL Plus with Full Text database. Jackson, R. (2008). Creating an office staffed by the A-team. Podiatry Management, 27(1), 155. Retrieved October 12, 2008, from CINAHL Plus with Full Text database.
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