Creating An Atmosphere Of Trust In The Workplace

Have you ever been in a position in your career where it felt like you were all alone?  Where it didn’t matter if you were unhappy because even if you went to a peer or someone above you, instinctually you knew that they could not and would not help?  Or maybe you have been in a relationship where you just knew that the other person did not have your best interest at heart. How would you say you performed or behaved in those circumstances?  It is highly likely that your answer would have been something along the lines of “poorly.” The thing is, that’s normal. When we feel like we are in a situation where we cannot trust the other side of our relationship it is extremely difficult for us to get to a place mentally where we feel ok not giving it 100%.  What’s the point right?

Naphtali Hoff in her article for the Huffington Post says, “Trust is a feeling of security that you have, based on the belief that someone or something is knowledgeable, reliable, good, honest and effective.”  Would you say this describes your current relationships? What aspect of this quote might be lacking in your personal or professional spheres?


If you are in management or own a small business or are in charge of a team in general, Victor Lipman’s thoughts bear some consideration.  He says, in his article for that trust “…can make all the difference between an employee who is emotionally committed to an organization -engaged- …and one who is disengaged or even destructive.”  Have you found this to be true? In my experience, I have found this to be all too true. I have seen a number of instances where the employee loses trust in their superior and not only does their performance go downhill, but they also start negatively affecting their co-workers as well.  


Lastly, I’ll end with this quote from Stephen Covey before leaving you with a few “Do’s and Don’ts.”  Covey says, “when the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.  


So how can you practically bring this into your relationships?


Let it Linger:  Just like the Cranberries sang all those years ago.  By letting issues fester it gives them time to grow and by the time you get around to addressing them, you are too late.  


Be Proactive:  If you feel an issue has been lingering with an employee or significant other don’t wait until the time is right to bring it up.  (The time will never be right).



Give multiple reasons not to trust:  In most relationships, it is ok to slip up every now and then but if it becomes a habit, it is awfully hard to regain that trust.  


Go over the top:  Don’t leave any doubt in the minds of your employees or loved ones that they can trust you.  Give them a million reasons why they should trust you and not the other way around. (Things like not blowing up at them when they confess to a mistake or remembering important facts about them are helpful in this regard)



Treat people differently:  If people see that you cater to those above them on the pay scale or you treat some friends differently then others, they will start to question whether you actually like them or respect them at all.  


Treat others as equals:  This does not mean that you spend as much time with front-line employees as you do your leadership team.  It means that you treat everyone you come across the same. Whether it is the king of England or someone living on the streets.  When people see this from you there will be no doubt that they are getting the real you when they are dealing with you.


Do you want to cultivate more trust in your relationships whether it is personal or professional?  OnBoard Coaching has the skill and knowledge to make that happen! To find out more visit our website at or contact us at  


— Brad Thiessen OnBoard Coaching

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