Step Two:
Team Participates In Trust Interview

Directions for facilitators


  1. To explore the group’s ideas and feelings about trust and safety. 
  2. To introduce and discuss the assessment of character strengths. 
  3. To learn the principles of dialogical practice for teams: reflection, appreciation and practice. 
  4. To conduct a team interview about trust
    Time: (note – this really depends on the total size of your group. The following process is geared for about 15 participants.)

Part I

90 minutes: Interview pairs
• Interview first direction– 30 minutes
• Interview other direction – 30 minutes
• 30 minute break

Part II

90 minutes: Reflective practice following trust interviews
• Large group sharing of trust stories

Discussion points and instructions for facilitators

Appreciative interviews allow us to discover what is meaningful and important to another person, and to learn how that person makes sense of the world. They are an opportunity to hear stories about another person’s life experiences: their successes, values, hopes and dreams for the future. Appreciative interviews create mutual understanding and respect. They build shared knowledge and collective wisdom. They deepen relationships and generate new possibilities for people to go forward together. Don’t be surprised if you learn as much about your self in the process as you do about your interview partner. 

The information and stories collected via appreciative interviews serve as data for identifying what works well when you and your team are the best you can be. You are invited to interview a partner and he or she will interview you as well. You will be asked to share your partner’s stories and “quotable quotes” at a later time. 

Please remind people to take notes as they listen to your partner’s feelings and ideas. Participants will be asked to create a clean copy of all their notes after the interview and we would like to receive a transcribed copy of everyone’s interview. Please refer to the IMANI Trust in Teams document for a copy of the interviews to give out to everyone, and make extras so they can re-write them if they want to. 

After the paired interviews, the whole group will get together and you will be asked to respectfully share your partner’s stories. Make sure you that the stories you tell your partner are ok to share with the larger group, so you feel safe. We will provide specific and clear guidelines for the group so everyone will get some feedback about how their stories are being received. This is usually a very positive and uplifting experience for people. 

Some helpful reminders: 

• Take time to build a connection before beginning the conversation. Share a little informal time hearing who this person is and let them know a little bit about who you are. 

• Have a second copy of the interview guide available. In most cases, English will be someone’s second language – more easily read than heard. In others, someone will be more visual than auditory. In either case, they might have an easier time answering complex questions if they can read along with you. Having an extra copy of the guide will give people that option, if they need it. 

• Give people time and space to take things at their own pace. Some people warm up immediately; others take time. If the interview begins to get really interesting just as it’s finishing, see if there is time to go back and think again about earlier questions. Likewise, if your partner’s having difficulty answering a particular question, save it until the end. 

• Show your partner that you are really listening and that you really care. Keep your body relaxed and open – comfortably close, and gently facing them. Try to avoid being separated from them by a table. Take notes as needed but try to avoid letting it be distracting. Make eye contact. Allow your facial expressions and verbal reinforcement to reflect your genuine interest. If you are curious and want some more information, by all means ask for it! 

• Close by summarizing what most inspired you. Because appreciative interviews are grounded in relationship, honor the relationship by sharing your experience. Tell people what you learned from them . . . how their stories have changed the way you see the organization and the world. Your partner has trusted you with his or her stories, hopes, and dreams. Honor that trust by trusting them, in return. 

We suggest that you tell participants that this interview focuses on the importance of trust and safety. It is an inquiry into what you value most about trust in teams. Organizations are at their best when they are engaged and connected, and when trust is shared among people at all levels of the group. This interview provides a good foundation for all of the conversations that follow because we need to feel trust to share important parts of ourselves with others. 

Please request that team members use the following questions to interview their partners and then be interviewed in return. The best way to do this is to go through one complete interview, and then shift roles and conduct the second interview. Remind them to listen with an open heart and an open mind. And please don’t forget to take good notes. 

Part I
Directions: (60 minutes) Paired Interviews

Pair up and take about 30 minutes in each direction. Make sure everyone fills out the responses on a copy of the interview guide, so handout a copy to everyone. They can take a 30 minute break after the pair is finished. It is useful to remind the pair when about 40 minutes has passed so they do not run over time. Read the interview aloud with the participants following along and then have them get started. Good Luck!

Trust Interview

Imani- Trust in Teams

Let’s start by talking about working with others. All teamwork requires trust among team members – trust that you can depend on one another, that all members will support the direction of Kimo, share information and resources equitably, and that everyone will be kept informed through open and honest communication. An environment of trust is established intentionally with lots of thought and patience. 

Remember: Please take your time, because you should write down good and complete notes that we will collect about your partner’s story. Use the back of the paper if needed. The facilitator will give you a new piece of paper to re-write your notes later if you need one. 

Trust in Teams Tell me about a time when you experienced being a part of a group like this. It could be with this group or another group or team that you have been part of as a member. It is often a family group or a community group. Please share that story. Really tell all of the details. 

a. What group are you thinking about? Can you tell me some of the details about this group? Who are they? How old were you when you were a part of this group? Are you still connected with them?