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The Trust Advantage

8 June 2023

If you want to build a team, create a team that builds

The importance of social support in resilience cannot be quantified. There is simply no equal.

However, while support is a central driver in resilience development and promotion, for support to effectively reduce vulnerability to adversity, it should ideally come from a source that is trusted and respected. In other words, it is the higher trust relationships in our lives that offer greater resilience potential and future success.

With this understanding it is easy to appreciate the lengths that high-performing teams will go to in order to build trust, as it provides them with a licence to both lead and succeed.

There are many ways in which we can create a more trusting environment, but to really bring a team together is important to consider some core principals.

  1. Trust is based on two fundamentals, competency and values. Who do we trust? The person or group that can get things done. Who do we trust? The person or group with a strong moral and ethical compass.
  2. Trust has a strong neurobiological basis in that the experience is driven by oxytocin (protein)

This knowledge is valuable in that it allows leaders to create an opportune environment to build or establish TRUST in a relatively short amount of time.

Competency conversations:

Any personal share pertaining to passion, purpose and mastery (self-directed or external) can grow trust within a high-performing team. Yet another great conversation is overcoming adversity and challenges. This type of narrative shows vulnerably and authenticity together with the historic application of resilience skills.

Expressing our values and beliefs:

Research firmly supports that values and morality supersede competence by around 3X in the promotion of trust. There are many ways to live and embody our value set, but it may be advantageous to take an opportunity share these with a team when the opportunity arises. What are the TWO or THREE core values you wont compromise regardless of circumstance?


This molecule packs a mighty punch. So much so that it is mentioned 72 times in Thrive – the power of resilience. Not only does it facilitate the experience of trust, but also courage, compassion, confidence and has a range of stress mitigating effects.

Oxytocin is best supported by meaningful social interaction, prosocial behaviours and health practices. This combination can be achieved by group exercise (yoga, running, hiking, walking, soccer etc.) and/or group community work.

In summary, building a resilient, high-trust team is best achieved through experiences that promote individual contribution and collective appreciation.

‘If you want to build a team, create a team that builds’

Jonathan Sacks

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