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The importance of trust

Trust plays a key role in every global collaboration, whether you are negotiating with a vendor from another country, selling products to an overseas market, or participating in a geographically dispersed team.

In the context of such collaborations, trust can be defined as confidence in a person’s integritycompetencereliability, and benevolence.

When you trust others with whom you’re collaborating, you believe they –

  • Will be honest
  • Will do what they say they’ll do
  • Have the collaboration’s best interests at heart
  • Possess the skills needed to achieve mutually important goals
  • Genuinely care about others’ well-being

When participants trust one another, they cooperate and can surmount difficulties that arise during a global collaboration.

Availability of trust would enable the team to ~

  • Negotiate more effectively with mutual respect. Participants respect one another, assume that everyone involved wants to craft a mutually satisfying outcome, and believe that each player will honor the agreed-upon terms of the deal. So they persevere through tense moments and explore a wider range of options.
  • Overcome misunderstandings caused by language differences. For example, suppose one participant says something that seems rude on the surface. With trust, another participant attributes the misstep to cultural differences, rather than to malicious intent.
  • Resolve problems caused by physical distance. Participants work out difficulties scheduling meetings across numerous time zones. Among any other solution for this would be to share the recording of the meeting to those in the time zones which are not available to attend the said meeting for better transparency, and anything which required voting could be done once those whom did not have the opportunity to attend the meeting have listen to and analysis the audio recording. Hence, better transparency and inclusiveness for all party.
  • Unite and align with their common purpose. Instead of fracturing along cultural or geographic lines when misunderstandings or conflicts arise, participants stay focused on the goals of the collaboration and identify with the overall team. 

Trust enables participants in a global collaboration to bring their unique experiences and perspectives to the effort. This diversity of contributions in turn spurs creativity, decision making, and productivity.


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