Complex societal problems require collaboration among diverse types of stakeholders. Collaboration requires trust. For this and other reasons, trust is generally considered a significant phenomenon in present-day society. However, it is also an intangible phenomenon.
This PhD thesis makes trust developments in collaborations more tangible by revealing how these are reflected in conversation patterns. The results of this study indicate that, during meetings, an increase in trust is not only reflected in more openness and responsiveness among the partners, but also in a changing rhythm in their conversations. The different partners speak more often and briefer. If trust is high, the conversation can show moments of interaction flow. This implies an – in the interaction pattern visible – acceleration of the conversation that often results in a creative solution or decision. A chairperson can foster the conditions for such moments of flow by skilful balancing among different key concerns, among which are interventions that nurture trust.