Trust Regulation in Teams
The interaction patterns of teams are always characterised by the process in which trust is formed and tested. Trust is a means for reducing complexity. If one does not trust that the colleague can do something (maybe because he has a certificate), it becomes difficult…! You would never stop controlling. If one only ever trusts, then trust becomes blind and thus dysfunctional. Therefore, teams must test trust.
This can happen by pressuring the relationship slightly and only for a short period of time (“Will it help if I quickly scan the text, before it is sent to the customer?”) or the relationship is more permanently transferred to distrust and control (“I will make sure that never again does a letter go out to the customer which I have not first read!”). Therefore, who in a team trusts or distrusts whom, for what reasons and in which respect, clearly defines the pattern of confirming and sanctioning. This pattern can be extremely helpful or very damaging with regard to the attainment of goals. For this reason it is indispensable, when analysing teams, to focus on the way in which trust and distrust are regulated. A very common assumption, that the more trust there is between each other, the better the team is, must be rejected metatheoretically. A team always requires two forms of trust, distrust and trust.