Evelien Roos Building trust with online teambuilding

Automatic Summary

Building Trust with Online Team Building: A Guide

Welcome to our interactive blog post, packed with tips and practical steps on how to build trust with your online teams. As an L coach at C VA and a professional Scrum trainer at scrum.org, I've compiled vast knowledge on this critical aspect of team interaction. But remember, this isn't an edict - it's a guideline to shape your thought process about trust. Let's dive in.

Understanding Trust

Trust: a simple term with a far-reaching impact. In the context of team building, it refers to relying on others to do the right things in the right way. Building trust is essential when working within any team or organization.

The five dysfunctions of a team, according to author Pat Lencioni, show trust as the foundational element for optimal team function. Interestingly, trust isn't a switch to be flicked on and off - it's a concept built upon.

Identifying Lack of Trust

A lack of trust in a team can manifest in different ways: lack of job design freedom, feeling uncomfortable depending on your team, and even discovery of hidden interests or agendas. So how do you counteract these challenges?

Build Trust through Four Elements

In their book, The Trusted Advisor, authors Maister, Green, and Galford share four critical elements that build trust:

  • Credibility: Honesty and speaking only when sure can boost your credibility.
  • Reliability: Being dependable and following through on agreements enhances reliability.
  • Intimacy: Held together by sharing missteps and maintaining information confidentiality.
  • Self-orientation: Focus on other people rather than solely on self-interest for a balanced self-orientation.

Collectively, these factors equate to trustworthiness.

Practical Steps to Building Trust

Building trust in online teams involves deliberate efforts to increase credibility, reliability, and intimacy while decreasing self-orientation.

Best Practices for Building Trust

To increase credibility:

  1. Be transparent about your progress
  2. Share success and failure
  3. Ask for help and offer help

To increase reliability:

  1. Make working agreements with your team.
  2. Return phone calls or missed calls in an online environment.

To increase intimacy:

  1. Have a team lunch or get to know each other.
  2. Do a pop quiz with the team.

To decrease self-orientation:

  1. Show empathy.
  2. Choose an activating sprint retrospective format.

Remember, these are just a starting point. The specifics depend on your team’s dynamics and needs. Be proactive and consistent in trust-building efforts, and you'll soon see renewed team spirit and productivity.


Building trust in an online team may seem daunting initially, but with understanding and the right tools, it's absolutely achievable. Implement the outlined steps consistently, be patient, and watch your team thrive in a trust-filled work environment. As always, happy team building!

Video Transcription

So welcome everybody um to the session, which is about building trust with online team building. And the goal of today, what we're going to do today is I want to inspire you and you can find ways how to build trust together in an interactive way.So I don't believe I'm the expert in building trust. I just want to give you some guidelines about how you can think about trust and how you can think about building trust with your online teams. So who am I? Well, I'm an L coach at C VA and I'm also a professional Scrum trainer at scrum.org. Um I'm certified to give training from the back of the room and of course, the most important of all is I'm a mother of three. So that's a bit about me and we will share the context and the and the slides afterwards. Yeah. So the topic is trust, but what is trust? And I want you to write your definition or your thoughts about it, write them in the chat. So please go ahead. What are your thoughts about trusts? And while you do that? And of course you can read all the answers, but I cannot. So I will come back to that in a moment, but write your thoughts about trust into the chat. For me. Trust is about relying on other people doing the thing, the right things and doing the things, right. And this is so important in when you are working within a team or within an organization that you are really conscious of building trust.

But of course, the question is how can you do that? We will explore that in that in this session, how to build trust. So if you look at uh the books of Patien Zion, the five dysfunctions of a team, he says trust is like the basis or the foundation of uh working in a team. So it's very important that you work on it from the start because trust is not something that you can switch on or switch off. It's something that you um that you build upon. And the question of course is still how to do that. So a question to you again. So I said it was going to be an interactive session, right? So I want to know if you have any examples when you were in a team or in our organization where there was lack of trust. And I want you to share that if you if you want to share it uh in the chat. So I will take a look what has been written down there. So I will end this so I can take a look in the chat. Yes. Feeling comfortable being able to depend on your team being micromanaged, managed. Yes. So these are the examples that you have where you have a lack of trust. Thank you, Eleni for that. Saskia writes.

Uh Yes, I was in a team where my judgment was net value due to difference in levels. Yes. Thank you. Let's wait a few seconds talking about people when they are not there instead with them. Thank you Agata for that. Too much job design freedom. Thank you, Virginia. Discovering there are other interests or agendas. Yes. So there are so many examples to give about when it is or how it is when you have a lack of trust and Norina says we had a task and not all did it. Yeah, I will give you some examples that I uh that I have encountered. So here we go again in the pile of whites. So this is one, all those stupid tests. I already told you this is high quality software. Another one, I do not believe we can reach the sprint goal, but I will make sure to finish my part. You work on your part. I work on my part. Let's do what we're good at. And there's so many examples here, I'm just going through them. I will just do what the product owner tells me to do. We all work separately because everybody is good at his own thing. Share my failures. Never. Who cares if we don't finish this print, we'll fix it. The next, I wonder how productive he is when he's working at home. And a lot, a lot of other examples. What does the Scrum Master do all day? We must have run into that. That analyst is so stupid. He keeps writing all these useless documents.

Let's not tell the product owner about the technical debt. It will only confuse him or her. Of course, if I just keep telling everybody about all the activities I did, no one will suspect I have not made any progress. And of course, there are many more and I hope that in the chat, you will find also examples of what it, what could occur when there is a lack of trust. So there was a research and it has been published in the Harvard Business Review and it was about why do you need trust? Well, here are, here are some reasons why you would need trust in your organization or within your team, like more enjoyment in work or more value and more pride, which is obviously very important and more creativity. So this is all nice. But uh what, what else can we say about trust? Um And I've written uh sorry, I've not written this book. I have read this book, uh uh the trusted advisor and they break down trust in four elements. So trust is about credibility. It's about what people say, it's about reliability, about what people do. It's about intimacy, how easy you share information and it's about self orientation or your focus on other people.

So an example of credibility is you are credible if you don't lie and you speak up when you don't know. But also when you love your topic, it will show um if you don't have, if you don't have a need for all certifications or your or your uh or your or your little cars and reliability, some examples, you are reliable. If you keep your agreements, don't talk behind others back. So that was the one example that was put in the chat. Also. Um Reliability is also being dependable. Being on time, for instance, is also an example of reliability, then intimacy, you are intimate or you or you have high intimacy if you keep your secret secrets, but also share mistakes. So this is about openness and don't be afraid to share mistakes. And then there's the part of self orientation to focus on other people. You are self oriented, if you think your own interest is the most important. So if you think everything is about you, so um this brings if we bring it together, then we kind of have this trust equation where, where we say credibility and reliability and intimacy divided by your self orientation is your trustworthiness.

And if you know that trust consists of these four elements, then you can actually work on it and that's what we are going to do in this session. You are going to work on that. So you're going to define and explore how you can work on these four elements. So what now how to start building trust with online teams? So we've broken it up into four parts, increase credibility, increase reliability, increase intimacy and decrease self orientation. So I've made up a few do s and don't, So what you should do to increase CRE credibility is be accurate and don't make up things a thing you could do to increase reliability, do meet your agreements. Don't be inconsistent. A way to increase your intimacy is do get to know each other. Don't be afraid and how to decrease self orientation is do involve your team members and don't decide all on yourself. But how that is the question. So in a moment, you will be directed or asked to go to a board where you, where you will find this blue board. And what I'm going to ask you to do is to fill this, fill this in. So you can think about how to increase in intimacy intimacy. Uh do get to know each other and how organize a virtual team launch every Monday.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to ask you to go to the mural board and I put it in the chat way up in, in, in the start, but I will do it again. And um if you are on the board, you go to one of the four sections. So, credibility, reliability, intimacy or self orientation. And you're going to think about what are the dos, what are the Don's? And how can you do that? If you're done or run out of ideas? You go to the next board, you will have eight minutes on that mural to fill it in. Let's do seven minutes. I'm going to add it to the chat again. Here you go. Yes, and it's time. So I have to get you back into the, into the uh into the uh conference again. So, um I saw a lot of good ideas uh that could help you to build trust with your online teams. So this mural will stay open so you can look uh so you can look at it at a later point. But what I do want to share are my thoughts on uh the best practices. So if you all return to the to the events, um so best practices to increase credibility, be transparent about your progress, share success and failure, ask help and offer help.

And there were a few other ideas also in the mural um that you could uh that you could use to increase reliability, make working agreements with your team. Adhere to a definition you done if you have one uh return phone calls or missed calls in an online environment and how to increase intimacy, have a team lunch or get to know each other and, or do a pop quiz with the team and how to decrease self orientation, show empathy uh and choose an activating sprint retrospective format.

You can check out the website re remark.org if you want to have more uh more ideas. Um Here are the sources that I used. Um And I will go to questions now. Uh If you, if you have any feedback, you can leave it on the mirror. I already saw a few comments over there. Um But I will go into the presentation mode again. Yes. So here we are s um yeah, let's let's check out what has been, are, are there any questions regarding this topic? And I know it's so much a lot of information, but you can check out the mural at any time. All right, not any time, but I will leave it open. So you can uh you can uh check it out. So decreasing self orientation, rotating chair of meeting, actively engaging everyone on the team. Yeah. So these are good ways to decrease self orientation, how to increase reliability, show your results and communicate very important, increasing credibility comments with facts. Yes, be honest, very important.

Turn your camera on uh tells health of the story, be willing and open to other people's view. So these are great examples of uh uh that you could use to build on your trust in an online environment. And of course, this also works for uh the physical environment. So building trust, I hope you have got an idea of what trust is uh based upon. That's the 20 minute timer. So I think we will just be cut off in, in a moment. So if there are not any questions more, uh there's one of a lady I work in open source and we have a lot of highly talented yet highly introverted people. Do you have any tips how to connect with them better? I think intimacy is the most important there. Get to know the people, get to know what they like and where they are, where they get the satisfaction from um and start working with it. So don't start working on all the four elements at one time, start with one and I would choose intimacy. You're welcome. Good. I want to say thank you for participating. It was a bit of a struggle with the, with the technique, but I hope you've got something out of it. And um well, thank you. I will stay around in the, in the lounge. So if you have any questions, let me know, you can connect with me on linkedin too. Um It's just Aly Rose uh where you can find me. I'm happy to connect. Thank you so much.