Revelry blog post on trust in partnerships. Hands stack in center of circle.

The Importance of Trust in Partner Relationships

At Revelry, we talk a lot about our core values. For our team, these guiding principles are far more than words on a website or fodder for presentations; they’re how we do things… how we engage with and support each other, our partners, and even ourselves in all we do.

Among Revery’s core values is a call to “Earn and Dispense Trust.” In a recent Engineering Team meeting, we explored what this means for our relationships with the clients we support, and steps we can all take to create and sustain trusting partnerships with those with whom we work.

Foundations for Trust

While lots of research has been done on the foundations of trust – and findings vary somewhat from study to study – our team’s experience in the software development and delivery space highlights three important contributors to trusting relationships:

  1. Mindset
  2. Communication
  3. Actions 


Having a healthy mental model of a partnership makes everything else easier. If we get this part right, we stand to be more effective, and to feel more satisfied and appreciated. To this end, a positive mindset means we:

  • Assume the best of intentions, and be stubborn about it.
  • Work to understand our partner’s goals and motivations, not just what they ask of us.
  • Acknowledge the validity of any and all concerns (budget, timeline, prioritization, etc.).
  • Remember we’re all on the same team, and we all want the team to succeed. This doesn’t mean there won’t necessarily be moments of frustration or discomfort, or that we shouldn’t continue learning about one another to tailor future interactions. But (again), we’re on the same team and we all want the team to succeed.

To the point above about potentially frustrating or uncomfortable situations, it’s also important to remember:

  • If you don’t understand why something was said or done, or is being considered, ask questions.
  • If you think something is a bad idea, raise your concerns with care and honesty. 
  • There will be constraints on both sides, from the limitations of a work week or a budget to open source licenses and vendor contracts. Constraints aren’t preferences, and we must work with them.
  • Once the constraints are understood, the real work is in balancing the more fungible factors to set the team up for success. 


It’s easy to write and say a lot of words – focusing on surface-level goals – but trust is dependent on how we say things, and what’s being said under the surface. For this reason, recognize and remember:

  • Face time matters (eye contact, body language, small talk, etc.).
  • Honest, clear, concise communication honors all parties.
  • Speak up if you have questions; thoughtfully consider when and how you do so.
  • Be forthcoming about uncertainty and the associated risk, and advocate for addressing them directly.
  • Clarify your thought processes and decisions in writing. Record the details for posterity, but be prepared with executive summaries when appropriate.
  • Work out in the open, so everyone stays on the same page.


If we’re working out in the open, we all know who’s doing what, when, and how. This transparency enables the entire team – both Revelry and partner team members – to learn from and support one another.

Revelry product managers and engineers, specifically, can use our “work in the open” approach to further projects by:

  • Filing and fixing bugs for things you notice as you’re doing other things
  • Watching error logs and fixing these bugs before they impact the end user
  • Commenting with context and insight on Github issues before they reach poker
  • Being diligent with QA
  • Recognizing that blockers are calls to action, not an excuse to sit back and wait. Do what you need to do to get unblocked, or to help a team member get unblocked. Project Slack channels provide an easy and fast way to ask for or offer help.

We rightfully spend a lot of time honing our craft of building software, but we know our expertise won’t get us anywhere without good working relationships based on trust.

Does this sound like a team you’d like to work with? Get in touch.

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