2. Trusting Teams | THE 5 PRACTICES (2023)


How do we create an environment in which our people can work at their natural best?

Leaders are not responsible for results, they're responsible for the people who are responsible for the results.

This is the second of The 5 Practices outlined in THE INFINITE GAME.

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Simon is an unshakable optimist who believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Simon teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single day feeling inspired, feel safe at work, and feel fulfilled at the end of the day, Simon is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. Simon is the author of multiple best-selling books including Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, Together is Better, and Find Your Why. His new book, The Infinite Game, will be released in 2019.

Simon’s WHY: To inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, each of us can change our world for the better.

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Simon’s books:
The Infinite Game: simonsinek.com/product/the-infinite-game/
Start With Why: simonsinek.com/product/start-with-why/
Find Your Why: simonsinek.com/product/find-your-why/
Leaders Eat Last: simonsinek.com/product/leaders-eat-last/
Together is Better: simonsinek.com/product/together-is-better/


Trusting teams I went on a business trip to Las Vegas.

And they put me up at the Four Seasons out there, which is a beautiful hotel.

And one of the reasons it's a wonderful hotel is not because of the fancy beds any hotel can buy a fancy bed.

The reason the Four Seasons is a fantastic hotel is because of the people who work there that when you roam the halls and somebody says, hello, you get the distinct feeling that they wanted to say, hello, not that they were told to say, hello, we're, highly tuned, social animals.

We can tell the difference it's like we can always tell when someone's working on Commission, right? You can kind of feel it right? We can tell the difference when somebody's genuinely being friendly or not they happen to have a coffee bar in the lobby they're at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas.

And one afternoon, I went and bought myself a cup of coffee.

And there was a barista working that day named Noah.


It was funny and engaging charming I spent far too long standing there buying my cup of coffee because I just so enjoyed talking to Noah.

So as is my nature I asked Noah question, I said, do you like your job? And without skipping a beat Noah said, I love my job.

Now in my line of business that's significant, because like is rational I like the people I work with I like the job I like the challenge I, get paid.

Well I like my job.

Love is emotional.


A higher order connection.

Do you love your wife I like her a lot right? There's.


A difference Noah said, I love.

My job.

My ears perked up.

He has an emotional connection to this company.

This is interesting.

So I immediately follow up.

And I said, tell me specifically what the Four Seasons is doing that.

You would say to me, you love your job without skipping a beat Noah said that throughout the day managers will walk past him and ask him, how he's doing ask them there's anything that he needs to do his job better.

Not just his manager.

Any manager and then he also said, I, also work at Caesar's, Palace and they're.

The managers walk past us and catch us when we're doing things wrong and make sure that we're making the numbers and performing.

And there I like to just keep my head below the radar and get through the day and collect my paycheck.

He said, only at the four seasons, do I feel I can be myself.

This is the exact same human being.

And yet, the customer service experience that we would have meeting in at one hotel, or the other will be profoundly different, not because of the person, but because of the leaders because the leadership environment in which he's been asked to work I get this question, all the time Simon.

How do we get the most out of our people they're, not a towel? We don't wring them out to see how much we can get out of our people it's a flawed question, which means we're gonna get flawed answers.

The correct question is, how do we create an environment in which our people can work at their natural best? And the answers will be profoundly different.

If you do not have trusting teams, what you do have is a group of people who show up to work every single day lying hiding and faking remember a trusting team is when people feel safe it's, a trusting team as when people feel, they can be vulnerable amongst their own.

They can raise their hand and say, I made a mistake, or you promoted me to a position where I don't really know what to do I think I need more training or I'm having troubles at home and it's affecting my work or I'm scared or I need help without any fear of humiliation without any fear of retribution.

In fact, they say these things with confidence that their leader, their boss, their colleagues were rushed to them to support them.

If you do not have trusting teams.

What you have is a group of people who show up to work every day who will hide mistakes for fear of getting in trouble.

They will not admit that you promoted them to a position, and they actually have no clue what they're doing they're going to just keep faking it.

They would never tell you that they're suffering undue stress because of something that's happening at home and that it's affecting their work they're, not going to tell you that they're scared and they're, definitely not going to ask for help for fear that they'll find themselves on short list for the next round of redundancies.

And eventually cracks will show up.

And eventually the organization will break not because of the people, but because of the leaders leading those people, we know what this looks like in the extreme I'm.

Sure you all remember a couple of years ago, United Airlines had an incident where they dragged a paying customer off their aircraft with a broken nose, broken teeth and a concussion, I feel sorry for every single member of that crew, because 100% of them knew that that was the wrong thing to do.

But none of them spoke up, none of them intervened, because they feared getting in trouble more than doing the right thing.

They did not work on trusting teams.

This was not an anomaly.

This is a steady build over the course of years that eventually culminated in an event like that I was witness to a scene that played out years before with United Airlines that gave a flag that something was wrong.

A scene played out in front of me as I was preparing to board a plane where one of the passengers attempted to board the aircraft before their group number was called which as you all know, is a serious crime.

And that is exactly how the gate agent treated this passenger step aside, sir I haven't called your group.

Yet, please step aside and wait till I call your group is how she talked to a paying customer.

And so I spoke up I said, why do you have to talk to us that way? Why can't you talk to us like we're human beings? And she looked me in the eye and said, sir, if I don't follow the rules I could get in trouble or lose my job.

What she revealed to me is that she does not feel safe in our own organization.

Her leaders do not trust her to do the job for which she's been trained to do and guess who suffers company customer and her.

The reason we love flying Virgin Atlantic, for example, is not because they have some magical formula to hire all the best people it's, because the people who work there feel safe in their own jobs.

They feel trusted to do the job for which they've been trained to do and guess who benefits customer company.

And the people who work there.

It is a leaders responsibility to set an environment.

Leadership is not about being in charge.

Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge leaders are not responsible for the results.

They're responsible for the people who are responsible for the results.

And if you get the environment, right, you get people like Noah.

If you get the environment wrung, you get people like Noah it's, not the people it's.

The leaders almost always when there are performance issues, almost always when there are customer service issues, it's so rarely the people.

Yes, we have anomalies, of course, but if unbalanced you find that there's issues, it's almost always the leadership in the leadership environment and usually it's the lack of trusting teams, the job of leadership is to create trusting teams.

And if you want to play in the infinite game, you must have trusting teams.

One of the worst things about trusting teams is how you build them because they're not traditional in the sense that we set a target we're gonna build our teams of trust.

And we set out to build them it's more of a practices like getting into shape it's like going to the gym.

Yes, you want to get into shape.

Unfortunately, you can't go to the gym for nine hours and get into shape it won't work.

But if you commit yourself to go to the gym every single day for 20 minutes, 100% you'll get into shape Simon.

How long is it gonna take me to get into shape I, don't know and that's the problem someone some will respond quickly and some will respond slowly.

And there is no formula.

But we all 100% know that the process works.

We a hundred percent know that if you work out every single day for 20 minutes and eat healthily, 100 percent of us will get into shape it's the same in leadership, there's, no, five, magical, things that I can tell you to do there's.

No one day course you can go take or one off-site.

You can have with your team or all of a sudden they become trusting teams.

Yes, those things are important, but they're part of a process, a process that we trust in that process is called leadership.

Leadership is a lifestyle.

And even when you achieve your goal, even when you get into shape, even when the trusting teams are built, unfortunately, you have to keep going to the gym for the rest of your life it's a lifestyle.

Leadership is a lifestyle.

And the purpose of that lifestyle is to produce teams who take of each other who love each other and feel valued and valuable in the organization where they work that is your job.


What are trusting teams? ›

Trust is created when team members demonstrate care and respect for one another's feelings and value all members' perspectives. More than ever, organizations need high-performing teams to produce results and build strong relationships.

What is an example of trust in a team? ›

Showing support for your team members, even when they make mistakes (and admitting to your own) Balancing the need for results with being considerate of others and their feelings. Working hard to win over people by being respectful of their ideas and perspectives.

How do you build trust in a team? ›

How to build trust in your team
  1. Foster communication. Fostering communication between yourself and your team is a great way to build trust. ...
  2. Try to be transparent. ...
  3. Meet with individual team members. ...
  4. Conduct team-building activities. ...
  5. Encourage collaboration. ...
  6. Show your appreciation. ...
  7. Exhibit leadership qualities.
Feb 28, 2023

Why is trust important to a team? ›

Trust is essential to an effective team, because it provides a sense of safety. When your team members feel safe with each other, they feel comfortable to open up, take appropriate risks, and expose vulnerabilities.

How does a leader build a trusting team? ›

There are a number of ways to do this, including: helping employees cooperate, resolving conflicts between others, giving honest feedback, and checking in with people about their concerns. The second behavior is to demonstrate expertise and judgment.

What should trust look like within a team? ›

What does trust look like in a team? A team where everyone trusts one another is characterized by a high level of cooperation and collaboration, as well as mutual respect. Members feel safe to voice their opinions without fear of criticism or judgment, knowing that their thoughts are valued and respected.

What are five examples of trust? ›

10 Behaviors That Demonstrate Trust
  • You influence more by your actions than your words. ...
  • You are self-aware. ...
  • You give trust first. ...
  • You use trust elevating communication techniques. ...
  • You bring the best of who you are to your work. ...
  • You want the best for others. ...
  • You tell considered stories.
Jun 30, 2012

What are examples of trust? ›

A simple example would be the situation in which one member of a family advances money to another and asks the second member to hold the money or to invest it for him. A more complicated example of an implied trust would be the situation in which one party provides money to another for the purchase of property.

What is an example of showing trust? ›

Going forward, keep your promises. To show that you can be trusted, follow through with what you say you are going to do. For example, if you say you're going to call, make sure to actually call. It's also important to give your partner space during this time.

What 4 elements does building trust in a team require? ›

Knowing the various aspects of trust can help you determine where to focus your attention when seeking to enhance trust in your work environment.
  • No. 1: Competence. ...
  • No. 2: Integrity. ...
  • No. 3: Consistency. ...
  • No. 4: Connection.
Jun 25, 2021

What is trust in the workplace? ›

Trust for the organization means that managers and employees feel comfortable giving their teammates goals. They find employees to be accountable in meeting all the reasonable goals and work for the betterment of the team. Trust in a workplace also means that coworkers support each other.

How do we build trust? ›

7 Ways to Build Trust in a Relationship
  1. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. ...
  2. Be vulnerable — gradually. ...
  3. Remember the role of respect. ...
  4. Give the benefit of the doubt. ...
  5. Express your feelings functionally, especially when it's tough. ...
  6. Take a risk together. ...
  7. Be willing to give as well as receive.
Dec 12, 2018

How do you build trust with employees? ›

Proven Ways to Earn Your Employees' Trust
  1. What the Experts Say. ...
  2. Make a connection. ...
  3. Be transparent and truthful. ...
  4. Encourage rather than command. ...
  5. Take blame, but give credit. ...
  6. Don't play favorites. ...
  7. Show competence. ...
  8. Principles to Remember.
Jun 27, 2014

What are the 4 keys to building trust? ›

The 4 elements of trust (Competency, Consistency, Integrity, and Compassion) are dependent on the way we behave - both individually and collectively. These behaviors come from innate traits that determine how we, as human beings, respond and/or act in any situation. These hardwired traits are called Attributes.

What are the four aspects of trust? ›

After reviewing extensive literature on the topic, I believe that trust can be defined in terms of the following components: consistency, compassion, communication, and competency.

How do you build trust and rapport in a team? ›

Ask questions – Asking open questions about what is going on for your team members is the starting point to building rapport. E.g. “How was your weekend?” This gives people space to share information about themselves. Closed questions i.e. where there is only a yes or no answer, don't open things up the same way.

What are the characteristics of high trust in a team environment? ›

The ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and with empathy is essential to trust building. Leaders need to be able to share their vision and what they expect from their team in a way that is clear and easy to understand. They also need to be able to listen to their team and understand their needs and concerns.

Why is trust important in leadership? ›

Leadership trust creates the stable foundation for employees and their organizations to flex, adapt, and thrive in times of continuous change. The behaviors that build trust are the very behaviors that manage change.

What breaks trust in a team? ›

Gossip is the number-one trust breaking behavior within teams. Rather than going directly to the individual with an issue or concern, members talk to everyone else. The grapevine begins to flourish. As the time goes on, if the gossip is unchecked, it becomes more prevalent, happens more often, becomes more disruptive.

What is the five and five rule for trusts? ›

A 5 by 5 Power in Trust is a clause that lets the beneficiary make withdrawals from the trust on a yearly basis. The beneficiary can cash out $5,000 or 5% of the trust's fair market value each year, whichever is a higher amount.

What is the 3 keys factor to build trust? ›

Most people tend to think they're trusting their gut or their instincts when it comes to their relationships, but there's really much more to it than that. Trust can actually be broken down into three main elements that I call the Trust Triad: competency, integrity and goodwill.

What are the 3 types of trust? ›

To help you get started on understanding the options available, here's an overview the three primary classes of trusts.
  • Revocable Trusts.
  • Irrevocable Trusts.
  • Testamentary Trusts.
Aug 31, 2015

What are the two most common types of trusts? ›

The two basic trust structures are revocable and irrevocable. The biggest difference is that revocable trusts can be changed after they are created, while irrevocable trusts typically cannot.

What is the best type of trust? ›

An irrevocable trust offers your assets the most protection from creditors and lawsuits. Assets in an irrevocable trust aren't considered personal property. This means they're not included when the IRS values your estate to determine if taxes are owed.

What are some examples of having and creating trust in the workplace? ›

How to build trust in the workplace
  • Listen more than you speak. ...
  • Solicit and act on feedback. ...
  • Show appreciation every day. ...
  • Empower your team by trusting them first. ...
  • Encourage coaching. ...
  • Practice consistency. ...
  • Focus on nonverbal communication and soft skills. ...
  • Create an inclusive culture.
Sep 22, 2020

What are the 5 C's of team building? ›

A great way to help your team come together is to strive for the five C's, which stand for communication, camaraderie, commitment, confidence and coachability. When you begin working on each of these areas, you will notice significant changes to your teammates and yourself.

What are 5 important elements for building high performing teams? ›

5 Key Characteristics of High Performing Teams
  • Clarity of Shared Vision. High-performing teams are built on the foundation of clarity. ...
  • Defined Roles and Responsibilities. ...
  • Clear and Respectful Communication. ...
  • Trust and respect. ...
  • Continuous learning and improvement.

What are the six key elements of building trust? ›

Sometimes called the six key elements of building trust, the 6 C's are the essential skills and attributes that will help you enhance the confidence in your relationships: character, caring, competence, consistency, credibility, and communication.

What is a trust model? ›

A trust model is a collection of rules that ensure the legitimacy of the digital certificates used by the eDelivery components.

What are the two types of trust in the workplace? ›

We all instinctively understand what trust is, but there are actually two types of trust that are crucial to successful leadership. These are cognitive and affective trust.

What are the types of workplace trust? ›

There are three types of trust in organizational relationships.
  • Deterrence-based trust. Perhaps the most fragile of all the types of trust, deterrence-based trust is based on the fear of reprisal if trust is violated. ...
  • Knowledge-based trust. ...
  • Identification-based trust.

Why is trust important in a workplace? ›

Trust builds teamwork and collaboration. Trust produces increased speed, improved efficiency and hence, decreases costs. Trust empowers ethical decision-making. Trust increases loyalty and the willingness to stay with a company.

What qualities build trust? ›

Eight behaviours that build trust
  • Being transparent. Transparency in interpersonal relationships is about being open and honest in communication. ...
  • Sticking to commitments. ...
  • Demonstrating trust. ...
  • Being personal. ...
  • Being consistent. ...
  • Appreciating others. ...
  • Listening well. ...
  • Demonstrating vulnerability.
Oct 19, 2016

How do you improve organizational trust? ›

Communicate regularly.

You can't have trust without communication. It's that simple. Teams who know their goals, tasks and greater purpose, and who have stronger relationships and awareness of others, are more likely to cooperate with each other.

How do you rebuild trust in the workplace? ›

4 Ways Leaders Can Repair Broken Trust in the Workplace
  1. Repair Starts With You. With great leadership comes great responsibility. ...
  2. Apologize and Acknowledge. Simply saying “I'm sorry” isn't enough to repair trust once it's broken — but it's the best place to start. ...
  3. Meet People Where They Are. ...
  4. Trust Takes Time.
Jan 24, 2023

What are examples of lack of trust in teams? ›

What is a lack of trust in the workplace?
  • An absence of transparency.
  • Little to no communication.
  • Inadequate work performance.
Feb 3, 2023

What does a high trust team look like? ›

In high performing teams people trust one another, they agree on a common mission, everyone understands their role and responsibilities, they collaborate, they are flexible and they are committed to growing and developing.

Why is trust team important in agile? ›

Trust allows agile teams to communicate quickly and respond rapidly to changes as they emerge. Without sufficient trust, team members can waste effort and energy hoarding information, forming cliques, dodging blame, and covering their tracks.

What are 4 characteristics of teams with an absence of trust? ›

Teams who lack trust conceal weaknesses and mistakes, hesitate to ask for help, jump to conclusions about the intentions of others, hold grudges and dread meetings.

How do you know your team trusts you? ›

Here are 10 signs your team has high trust:
  • Everyone openly engages in your meetings. ...
  • Team members respectfully disagree and challenge each other. ...
  • The team is comfortable sharing thoughts and ideas that are different from the leader. ...
  • The team laughs often and enjoys each other.

How do you build trust in a broken team? ›

4 Ways Leaders Can Repair Broken Trust in the Workplace
  1. Repair Starts With You. With great leadership comes great responsibility. ...
  2. Apologize and Acknowledge. Simply saying “I'm sorry” isn't enough to repair trust once it's broken — but it's the best place to start. ...
  3. Meet People Where They Are. ...
  4. Trust Takes Time.
Jan 24, 2023

How do you build trust and accountability in a team? ›

One of the key factors that influence trust and accountability is communication. You need to communicate your expectations, feedback, and support to your team members, and encourage them to do the same with you and each other. Communication should be clear, honest, and respectful, and avoid ambiguity and confusion.

How do you measure trust at work? ›

There are six basic steps that are required to measure trust.
  1. Step 1: Define the publics and stakeholders you want to study or with which you want to build trust. ...
  2. Step 2: Set SMART goals and objectives. ...
  3. Step 3: Establish a benchmark: What do you want to compare results to? ...
  4. Step 4: Decide upon your metrics.
Feb 16, 2016

What are the 4 pillars of trust? ›

While trust is usually built over time, in this article, I will briefly cover four important pillars of trust - Competency, Consistency, Intimacy, and Orientation.

What are the 4 behaviors of trust? ›

Then, within these two foundations are 4 key behaviors that build trust: Acceptance, Openness, Congruence, and Reliability.

What are 5 characteristics of a high performing team? ›

5 Key Characteristics of High Performing Teams
  • Clarity of Shared Vision. High-performing teams are built on the foundation of clarity. ...
  • Defined Roles and Responsibilities. ...
  • Clear and Respectful Communication. ...
  • Trust and respect. ...
  • Continuous learning and improvement.

How do you build trust in an agile team? ›

Here are five recommendations to improve agile team communication and build trust.
  1. Define Roles and Goals at the Beginning. A lot of miscommunication starts at the very beginning of a project. ...
  2. Encourage Questions. Always encourage the team to ask questions. ...
  3. Make Mistakes. ...
  4. Intro-Retrospectives. ...
  5. Feedback.
Aug 30, 2022

Why do teams need trust and accountability? ›

Why Do Teams Need Trust and Accountability? In order for teams to be successful, they need to be able to trust one another. This means that team members need to feel comfortable sharing information and ideas, and they need to feel confident that their teammates will not take advantage of them.

Why trust is important in leadership and team? ›

Trust Creates Future Leaders

When they own their success, they can better push through adversity, take responsibility for their performance and results and enhance their own leadership skills.

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