Trust is one of the key elements in successful alliances and partnerships. In these strategic relationships you need to be able to rely on your partner and vice versa. Trust in a relationship is always two ways: it is impossible for you to trust your partner while your partner does not trust you. And without this mutual trust it is impossible to build a successful strategic partnership.

Collaboration or control?

The collaborative business world is in a transformation from control driven to more trust driven. Nowadays we collaborate for efficiency and growth and for the fact that together we can do something we can simply not do alone. To establish successful business collaborations in a transformative business world, we need to bridge the differences. The recipe of success will therefore be somewhere in the balance of trust and control.

But how do you build trust in an alliance?

There are three essential elements to build and maintain trust. 

  • Pay attention to what your partner is saying. Be an active listener and make sure you understand your partner correctly. Not by repeating their words, but by explaining your own interpretation, to see if you are on the same page. 
  • Suspend judgement. The moment you start to judge your partner, objectivity has left the door. You can no longer be open and fully trust your partner once a judgement has been made. Suspend judgement, start with understanding and connecting.
  • Deliver on the promise. A partner needs to be able to rely on you. When you make a promise, make sure you deliver on the promise, better even: under-promise and over-deliver. People will learn that they can rely on you. Whenever something comes in between that makes you unable to deliver on the promise: communicate!

More tips on how to build trust in your alliances

Since trust is such an important cornerstone for the success of your alliance, I wrote a series of blogposts on the subject. They are stacked with tips and tricks to build trust in your alliances – even in a remote working environment.