Trust is a very complex phenomena and there are about 74 different types of trust in research discussions. However there are some general guidelines and common understanding how trust works and how does it break.
In fragmented organizations and in projects trust is often an issue, which needs special focus and sometimes it needs to be fixed in order for it to work. Here are some tips in building and keeping trust up in relationships.
Know yourself: are you a trusting and an optimistic person, who throws himself easily to new situations and to new adventures? Or are you a person who likes to take it slowly and look at the situations first from the distance? It is beneficial to acknowledge if you are too trusting or maybe too careful? In order to have someone´s trust, you need to trust first.
Recognize other person´s needs, listen and understand. You need to be able to listen and understand other person´s point of view and his or her background. Cultures have an enormous impact on trust, for example in Finland people trust their employer and are usually loyal colleagues, but in China family comes first.
Know the difference between the work role and personality. They both have an impact on interests and needs. At work concentrate on the business, but also take into account the person as a whole.
Communicate your needs and expectations clearly. Take one step at a time and communicate clearly what happens if you let the other person down. Contracts are an easy way to bring expectations “into the daylight” and to agree on complex topics.
Relationships in both business and in personal are worth evaluating regularly. Are they meeting your expectations in different levels both emotionally and professionally? There are many levels in trust and it is possible to fix trust one step and one level at a time.
In virtual collaboration extra effort is needed in order to balance all the expectations and to build trust.