When most people think about trust, they focus only on the things people do. The truth is, trust is built just as often by the things people don't do.

High trust teams out perform low trust teams. Yet, when it comes to trust and what builds it, most people think only about what team members do. The truth?

Trust is taken to new heights just as often by what people don't do.

Here are five things people in high trust teams don't do as they work together:

1. They don't beat around the bush

If there's a problem, it's brought up directly with the people involved. No gossiping. No insinuating. No passive-aggressive posturing. No slights or digs.

Elephants are lead out of the shadows, put out on the table and dealt with. Directly. Promptly. And, compassionately.

People in high trust teams know that not talking about issues isn't truly sparing people's feelings. Back room conversations chip away at trust. They chip away at people's dignity. They erode heart and soul. They make you wonder why you are on the team. So does withheld feedback. Teams committed to building a high trust culture are courageous in working through, instead of around, interpersonal roadblocks.

2. They don't say yes when they really mean no.

Saying yes to requests for support only builds trust if you deliver the support you promise. People who are tuned in to building trust in their relationships with other team members don't hesitate to say no. Or, not right now. Saying no when you know you don't have the bandwidth or the resources builds trust. Overpromising and under-delivering breaks it.

3.They don't view mistakes negatively

Trust doesn't get broken when mistakes are made. It gets broken when mistakes are covered up...or punished. People in high trust teams accept one another as human and embrace imperfection. They know that when mistakes aren't being made, people are hanging onto the status quo. People are playing it safe. Perhaps too safe.

4. They don't put a lid on their emotions.

Practicing the behaviors that build trust deepens emotional intelligence. People become aware of how their emotions influence their behavior. They learn that stuffing emotions doesn't make them go away. The emotions are still there, in the background, creating an impact on how you show up in your relationships, especially in stressful situations and during change.

Over time, if not resolved, those stuffed emotions can lead to feelings of distrust and ultimately to betrayal.

High trust teams nip betrayal in the bud. They create room and appropriate forums for emotions to be surfaced and constructively resolved. They create space for people to be authentic, and to stretch, learn, and grow from negative experiences. They actually talk about their disappointments and let downs.

In fact, people in high trust teams embrace negative experiences as ripe opportunities to deepen trust and adaptability and take business results to the next level.

5. They don't worry about tomorrow

Why? Because they know, without a shadow of the unknown that their teammates will work it through together. When everything is changing and ambiguous, when people have no idea what the future holds when trust between teammates is strong, people don't worry, They step in and navigate the unknown...together. They lean on one another.

Now, they may experience the stress that's inherent in shifting gears and trying on new ways of working. They may feel anxiety around losing a predictable workflow or role. A certain level of stress, strain and uncertainty is understandable. But, high trust team members don't waste time and energy getting worked up about the what if.

What if I can't keep up?

What I don't have what it takes?

What if there isn't a place for me in this team on the other side of change?

These worries don't take root and take over in high trust teams, because people have confidence they'll support one another to find their way.

Published on: Nov 29, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.