Mark Pearl


  • Trust is event driven.
  • Sociologists call it social capital.
  • Small, frequent gestures or events enhance trust more than larger gestures made only occaisonally.

Formula’s for Trust

Trust = (Warmth + Competency + Reliability) / Motives (Self Orientation)

Trust = [Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy (caring)] / Self Orientation

Self Orientation = your interests vs others interests

Perceived Psychological Contract Violation

“After all, when someone makes you a promise, but then they break it, you learn not to trust them. We need to trust people to feel safe, especially important people in our lives. (Like bosses”

“Start becoming aware of what you tell people, and hear them as the promises that they are. It doesn’t matter if you’re using the words “I promise” — you’re still creating a social contract. Breaking your promise will always harm your relationship.”

How to maintain trust

  • Be consistent, follow through with what you are saying you will do
  • Maintain open access
  • Don’t keep secrets, that means don’t tell people things and then demand they don’t tell the person that you have told them
  • Keep them in the loop, let them know what’s going on etc.
  • Trust them

Common Trsut scenarios

We are not going to commit to a delivery date for that feature I’m not comfortable sharing that with them cause I don’t know what they will do with it and I don’t trust what they will do with that info. After a group meeting people rush to have individual conversations about what went on in the meeting Hidden agendas, doubts on why someone does something Someone says something, you are sure they are insinuating something about you My manager micro-manages me. Team members don’t want to work with a certain individual in the team Team trusts its team members but does not trust the product manager or some other external stake holder Product manager does not trust what the team is saying

The project sponsor doesn’t trust the team to deliver on time, so she micromanages the schedule. The developers don’t trust the business to value quality work, so they cut corners. The project manager doesn’t trust the team’s estimates, so he pads them by a factor of three. The lead developer doesn’t trust the rest of the team to produce quality code, so she exhaustively reviews each commit personally.

“Let’s everybody trust everybody” doesn’t resolve matters. Trust can’t be wished into existence; it has to be earned and maintained.

You build trust by trusting others… advice previously given and gotten.

The effects of a lack of trust can often be more obvious than the causes.

This can lead to team members harping on the theme: “If only [name of person here] would just trust us!” Without understanding and addressing underlying sources of distrust, the team stays suspended in an unproductive state of hand-wringing.

Attributes of broken trust

I have learned that the lack or loss of trust can have dramatic detrimental effects. Some symptoms of broken trust are easily recognizable:

Us vs. them I’ll do it myself Don’t tell the others If it weren’t for them …


Don’t establish any process as a workaround for trust issues. Process is a tool that help people to achieve more, not a tool enable people to work with each other without proper level of communication and trust.

(Actually, some processes can help us regain trust between each party, but both party also need to realise that trust also need to be regained. Process can act as a tool, but not the end-goal.

The collaborative nature and complexity of our work requires us to rely upon others to help us achieve our goals. When we allow trust to erode, we introduce dysfunction into the team.

Dysfunctional teams cannot work at peak efficiency, because dysfunction and distrust have a cost—an expensive one. You aren’t building software if you are busy thinking up excuses. You aren’t building for quality if you aren’t sharing responsibility. You aren’t delivering the functionality of highest value if you aren’t working together on a unified goal.

The term team refers to a group of people united by motives and intentions to achieve a common goal.

Different strategies for creating trust

Game theory simulation on trust


The Secret Ingredient that makes teams better than others

  • Excerpt From: The Pragmatic Bookshelf. “PragPub 2016-09: Issue #87.” The Pragmatic Bookshelf, LLC, 2016-09-01. iBooks.


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