How Important Is Trust?

Trust is essential in a business relationship.

Perhaps you could manage for a short time without the trust of your subordinates, but it would not be pleasant. Certainly, there are managers who have lost the trust of their employees and continue in their positions. But, are they successful?

Smooth running organizations are unlikely when your staff have no confidence in you. Once trust is lost, it is very difficult to build it back. So work hard to build it and keep it.

The process of building trust begins the very first day you step into your new position. A solid understanding of your own personal values and the ability to communicate them will be of great assistance in this regard.

Here are my suggestions on how you can build and keep that trust.


When a member of your staff tells you something, listen carefully. Ask questions. Acknowledge the contributions they make. If you do this, they will tell you more.

Face to Face Communication

Make time to talk to people in your department on a one to one level. In a large department, you will have to have a rotating system to allow this opportunity. Being accessible on a personal basis is very important.


Make fairness an important principle. Remember that your staff will be looking to see that your treatment of them is even handed. Make it so.


Flexibility will build trust because you respond to the circumstances of the situation rather than rigidly applying a rule when it actually makes no sense.


It is very frustrating to deal with a manager who is never consistent. Predictability is very important to the staff when dealing with a supervisor. Your consistency, though, comes from personal values on which your decisions are made.


When you can respond to reasonable requests from your staff, it gives them the feeling that they can appeal to you especially when there are exceptional circumstances.


When you can, be generous. Being tight-fisted without cause does not build trust. Of course, be careful in the use of your resources.

Awareness of corporate culture

Be aware of traditional ways of doing things in the company and make your best attempt to follow them. Of course, there are times when you can’t, but try to explain why.


Keep your eyes open. Watch body language. Listen for the remark not meant for you, but which may be significant.





Published by pitman

I am a Business English Coach who works with managers and other professionals helping them to perform at their best when it is most important: such as a presentation, meeting with an important client, or a job interview. I am also a resource person for teachers of Business English.

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