Building Higher Trust 7 Trust and Solving Problems

All teams need to solve problems from time to time. How easily these problems are solved and the quality of solutions has a lot to do with the level of trust on the team. In this article I will describe why the level of trust has such a major impact on solving problems.

The speed to get to a solution

High trust groups are able to focus on the specific problem at hand. They define what the real issue is with precision and do it quickly. Once the nature of the problem is crystal clear to everyone, then a solution is just around the corner.

By contrast, low trust groups are working around interpersonal issues between team members, so it is difficult for them to even agree on the nature of the problem. The group can become splintered and end up arguing for hours on what the issue really is.

As the acrimony becomes more apparent, the group can actually move further away from the original problem and end up with two problems to resolve. All of this dither uses up a lot of time, and tempers become even more frayed.

The Quality of solutions

The quality of the solution is also highly impacted by the level of trust within the group. With a high trust group, people are not afraid to voice their ideas knowing they will not be ridiculed if they propose a rather creative solution.

In low trust groups, members are holding back for a number of reasons. They may be fearful that their ideas will not be considered seriously. They may keep quiet thinking that the power person should come up with potential solutions. They may have been shot down in the past. There may be a personal gripe with one or more other members of the group.

A low trust group will have a much more difficult time finding excellent solutions to problems than a high trust group.

Bonus Video

Here is a brief video on Trust and Solving Problems.



Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations


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