Trust Anti-patterns for working in groups

Deck of 23 cards is a simple tool for discussing problems that exist or could potentially emerge in a team.

For a few years we’ve been asking different teams we’ve worked about the factors they think can destroy trust. This resulted in us collecting and analyzing many responses, then grouping them into a shorter list of the 23 top factors that destroy team trust.

The cards have become a handy tool which enables building discussions around existing or potential trust issues and finding any possible solutions.

Working with anti-pattern cards will definitely  make your team stronger and more efficient

Alexey Pikulev, creator of trust cards


Each card is a set of information intended to have a detailed look into the meanings and define the parameters

  • Card name. All trust anti-patterns are grouped and designated with 23 card names.
  • Card Description. What is hidden under the name and what is affected by the meaning of this card. A simple and easy to understand explanation of the meaning of the card, 150-250 characters long.
  • Symptoms. Attributes, whose particular manifestation makes it easier to identify the anti-pattern and immerse participants in the search and discussion.


Here are some areas where cards can work:

  • Team retrospective, where it is necessary to discuss the trust and options for its development
  • Team Kick-off’s –  intended to create a team agreement
  • Coaching – intended to find problems and develop solutions


How to teach a team to speak on complex issues related to the erosion of trust.

1. Lay out the cards on a table. Ask the team members to select by means of individual voting those anti-patterns that are the most dangerous for the team. 10 minutes.

2. Count the votes. Determine the cards that received the most votes. 5-7 minutes.

3. Discuss the selected cards in the format of mini-teams, using the following questions (15-20 minutes.):

  • What can we do as a team to prevent this pattern from happening? 
  • Which behavior indicators alert us that this has happened? 
  • What will we do if this situation occurs? 

4. Share the results with the general group (15-20 minutes).

  • Are there any common points?
  • Ask the team members if they have learned any new things about themselves? 
  • Is there any way in which this information could help the team in the future? 

If you would like a physical card deck, fill out the form and we will contact you for details.

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