Why trust does not develop by itself.
And what you can specifically do to get there.

“Ms. Wanke, I’d like more openness and trust in the team, and I’d like to spend a day building it.” I can understand this request very well. A culture of mutual trust is one of the most valuable characteristics a team can achieve. It allows a team to collaborate effectively and in a pleasant atmosphere. Mutual trust increases both speed and quality. Everyone can move directly towards the common goal without the detours of controls and inspection. 

However, when working with clients, I always emphasise that there is no short cut towards trust. Rather it requires a process and many small steps. And once it exists, it must be carefully maintained. 

Why can feedback specifically contribute to creating trust?

Trust is mutual. It can only develop through conscious interactions between people. Above all, you need to open up to the other person and, therefore, inevitably take a risk: The risk of vulnerability. 

That’s why I highly recommend a proper approach. One effective way to create a basis of trust is, for example, a structured feedback procedure. In concrete terms, this means doing a face to face feedback session with your team members. 

That would mean quite merely: Within the group, everyone gives personal feedback to everyone else. You form teams of two to give each other individual feedback in short sequences of about 12 minutes each. In this way, you achieve various effects simultaneously: 

  • The team members get to know each other better.
  • They build a relationship by looking into each other’s eyes while openly expressing their perceptions. To be open also means to accept what you hear.
  • You create an atmosphere of openness
  • Everyone has an opportunity to learn and grow 
  • And very important: Everyone will be very pleased and happy to hear what they are doing really well!

How do I give feedback? 

It is essential to give a short introduction to feedback before the session – no matter how often you have read about feedback theory. Because: the ‘how I say it’ makes the difference to criticism, which usually causes a negative spiral.

Here are a few suggestions: 

1) Start with an explanation about “What is feedback?” to ensure mutual understanding. State clearly what it is not. It is not an argumentative conversation (giving each other a strong opinion, regardless of losses); and it is not an appraisal interview (a formal conversation in the context of employee appraisals with a hierarchical definition of roles).

Feedback could be explained as: 

  • A perception about “how I experience you in concrete situations, what I observe in your behaviour and how it affects me or triggers me.
  • Feedback is, therefore, clearly subjective. The effect of a behaviour can be different for me than for someone else. 
  • It is always up to the recipient whether he/she considers the feedback to be relevant for him/herself. And what he or she does (or does not do) with it.

2) Constructive Feedback is not just about criticism, but rather also positive! All the more it is central to balance the negative and positive statements.

3) One way to express feedback might be:

  • “What I appreciate about you ….”
  • “What I would like you to change/improve/consider …”

Building trust is a process. Trust results from consistent and predictable interactions over time. Giving and receiving feedback might play a key role in this process. We all need people who will provide us with feedback. That’s how we learn and improve.

If you would like to know more about building a feedback culture or facilitating a feedback session, you are welcome to contact me anytime.


Why trust does not develop by itself.
And what you can specifically do to get there.


Diese Webseite benutzt Cookies für Werbezwecke und zur Verbesserung der Nutzererfahrung.