A Matter of Trust: Why I Trust You, Why I Don’t post image

Developing real trust takes time. The people we lead come to us with history, memories, and experiences–they recall times of trust inspired and trust betrayed. When we are in a new gig, our teams watch even more closely.

  • “Can I trust you?”
  • “How do you talk to your boss?”
  • “Are you like the last guy?”

When we have been with a team longer, our teams have real perceptions and interpretations of our actions.

  • “Is this a pattern?”
  • “Does she always have my back?”
  • “How does he act under stress?”
  • “How is she treating everyone else?”

After years of leading, being led, coaching leaders, reading employee surveys, and hanging out with leaders here’s my best summary of what inspires or destroys trust.

“Why I Trust You”

Because you

  • let me know where I stand
  • share information
  • back me up
  • help me learn from mistakes
  • share how you make decisions
  • treat other people well
  • do what you say you will
  • understand what makes me tick
  • have my best interests in mind
  • admit when you are wrong
  • encourage dissent

Why I Don’t

Because you

  • let politics trump logic
  • withhold information I need
  • talk about me behind my back
  • break commitments
  • keep changing your mind
  • react without understanding
  • don’t get to know me
  • ignore me

What are you doing to develop trust within your teams?

What behaviors most build long-lasting trust?
Filed Under:   Authenticity & Transparency
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt is a keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and MBA professor. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was recently named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers, AMA's 50 Leaders to Watch in 2015, & Top Thought Leader in Trust by Trust Across America. Her latest book, Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul is available now on Amazon and in bookstores.

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What People Are Saying

Greg Marcus   |   09 October 2012   |   Reply

This is really helpful to see a simple list of the trustworthy and untrustworthy behavior together.

What has your experience been with people prone to flattery? I tend to distrust the people who lay it on think because sometimes that trait goes with people who tend to be manipulative.

Greg Marcus

letsgrowleaders   |   09 October 2012   |   Reply

Greg, Thanks so much for your comment. Yes, flattery is a good one for the list… to much makes me wonder too.

Steve Borek   |   10 October 2012   |   Reply

Credibility is the foundation of leadership. As leader, you’re always being watched.

letsgrowleaders   |   10 October 2012   |   Reply

Steve, thanks so much for sharing. Agreed… credibility is vital.

Anonymous   |   11 October 2012   |   Reply

Steve, thanks so much for sharing. Agreed… credibility is vital.