David Anderson has some great points on Project management – I am a regular reader of his blog – recently he posted about trust on project teams. While he deals with software projects I believe that the principle holds true whatever domain you might be in. In a recent blog he commented that in analyzing how agile a project was his one essential question was “How much trust is there in the room?” His contention is that “Documentation, contracts, reviews, memos, other non-verbal communication, verifications and validations are a reflection on the amount of trust involved”
I agree completely – years ago contracts and documents took the form of mere handshakes because people trusted each other enough that documentation wasn’t necessary. Obviously times have changed – you sign your life away anytime you do anything. Communication (and documentation is not communication) is key to forming trusting relationships. If you have worked on a project or in a group or even simply as pairs where a high amount of trust existed it is a very satisfying and rewarding experience and usually fairly productive!