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Trust In Interpersonal Relationships Essay

581 words - 3 pages

Trust in Interpersonal Relationships
MGT/521 - Management
March 17, 2011

Trust in Interpersonal Relationships
Trust is an important aspect in most people’s lives whether it is trusting that a neighbor will not steal the newspaper, that coworkers will be honest in sharing information for an upcoming meeting, or trusting that a spouse will remain faithful. Most interpersonal trust starts as assumed and evolves into needing to be earned. According to Lewicki and Tomlinson (2003), trust builds along a continuum and as a person’s “ability, integrity, and benevolence” are evaluated, the level of trust in a person or persons can change. Groups that lose trust in each other lose the cohesive ability to tackle the issues or tasks at hand. How to develop and keep trust among team members is a problem that many organizations face.
Interpersonal interactions begin with ...view middle of the document...

Minor offenses may result in the “victim” withholding information or support to the offender in the future so as not to be “taken in” again by deceit. In the middle of the spectrum, the victim may play a passive-aggressive role by superficially cooperating with the team member but not giving his or her full support or attention. As the severity of the offense grows, the perceived betrayal can lead to escalating conflict and the possibility of ending the relationship altogether (Lewicki & Tomlinson, 2003).
In the article, “Building Teamwork and the Importance of Trust in a Business Environment” the following five suggestions are given for how to develop and keep successful teams who trust one another:
1. Managers should provide training to group members on how to work effectively in teams.
2. A manager is responsible for examining the team’s progress to determine if there are personality issues that need to be addressed.
3. Management should help the group enjoy the experience of working in a team by building fun into meetings.
4. The manager should consider using icebreakers at the beginning of meetings to encourage interaction and camaraderie.
5. Managers need to offer group praise for accomplishments.
Interpersonal trust in teams begins as a basic assumption but typically shifts to each member needing to earn any further trust based on his or her actions. If a team member believes that trust has been violated, the group dynamics begin to break down. It is vital that leaders work toward assisting groups in gaining trust and group cohesion so that they may reach successful outcomes.

Becton, C., Wysocki, A., & Kepner, K. (2002, June). Building teamwork and the importance of trust in a business environment. University of Florida IFAS Extension, HR018, 1-3.
Lewicki, Roy J. and Edward C. Tomlinson. "Trust and Trust Building." Beyond Intractability. Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: December 2003 <>.

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