Trust is like earning interest in a bank. It can take forever to earn it, but you can lose it in a moment of spending.
I can't recall where I picked up the paraphrased quote in above – it was in somebody's blog that I read and it was in the last year. I really like the metaphor and I've found myself using it more and more lately.
I'm out in Redmond this week meeting with other Test Managers in Microsoft Business Solutions. While we did get some other work done, the biggest thing that we did was get to know each other and get a start on trusting each other. Trust is absolutely essential with multi-site development.
A couple of months ago, I was involved in a very real example of how quickly trust can be spent. A team from my site and a team from another site were working closely together on a challenging project. We had brought the teams together to build relationships and work together on the problem. Things were going fine and 'trust interest' was being slowly earned. Unfortunately, much of this trust interest was spent in a late night e-mail exchange where frustrations over a problem came out in bold, shouted, print. Just like that, the teams took several steps back and had to re-start earning interest.
Brad Appleton said it well with his first blog post, The first thing to build is TRUST! That's some very good advice.