Building Trust

Collaborative processes® believes that trust, or at least an requisite level of trust, is needed for collaboration. This means

  1. Trust among the parties/stakeholders.
  2. Trust in the process.
  3. Trust in the context into which the outcome is placed.

Most discussions about trust building recognize that trust must be build slowly, often with exercises that can demonstrate how the parties work together – and if successful contribute to trust building.
Some of the following may be considered in building trust in collaborative processes:

  • Although trust may (and likely should) be discussed directly, it may be that action must be combined with dialogue on trust.
  • In many cases, starting with easier and procedural activities helps slowly build trust.
  • Recognize that trust is easily eroded.Trust building requires patience.
  • Work to avoid having one or two isolated incidents destroy what trust has been built; prepare for some set backs by acknowledging that they may and perhaps will occur.
  • Use monitoring and methods of ensuring compliance rather than having the entire process or agreement build on trust.
  • Establish procedures and ground rules that support trust and avoid the negative behaviors that erode or destroy trust.
  • Base judgments about trust on reliable external principles rather than stereotyping or ideosyncratic views.
  • Inclusion builds trust.