Instilling Trust

Our initial discovery along the spectrum of Emotional Intelligence for high-performance consultants is the ability to instill trust. Trust is fundamental to our human condition, as it serves as the foundation from which every relationship develops. Our ability to build and maintain trust is THE basic requirement that enables our participation and contributions to teams, communities and other social structures that construct our lives.

High-performance teams are high-trust teams.


Defining Trust

Trust is the belief in someone’s reliability, truth and ability.  Every person we engage with is effectively scoring their level of trust in us based on their perceptions of our honesty and integrity.



Benefits of Instilling Trust

Some of the benefits of trust are:

  • Being regarded as trustworthy means the people we connect with have high degrees of confidence in our distinct abilities. This gives us freedom to accomplish and position.
  • When focus first on the needs of others, we support cultures that are free from personal agendas and can more quickly achieve commitment.
  • Instilling trust affords us the luxury of presenting unvarnished truth that moves teams and projects from here to there.
  • High trust leaders can emerge higher levels of performance from members of their work teams because the tasks become obligated by personal bond instead of financial compensation.


Leaders who abuse trust, or assume it exists without earning it can come off as too direct.  This has a tendency to catch people off guard, making them uncomfortable or anxious and limiting performance.

The ability to instill trust comes down to our basic approach to the needs of other people.  Leaders who instill trust embrace the heart of a servant and hold the needs of other people in the same regard as their own.  Trust is about embracing who we are and applying our skills for the benefit of others.

The bottom line

The people we engage with will respond to us in a way that mirrors how we feel about them.

Tactics to Instill Trust

  • See past the work and value people. The business of business is people. We are humans first and professionals second.  EVERYONE has the need to be seen, heard and understood.
  • Say what needs to be said. Don’t hedge your communications or rely on ambiguity. Avoid the temptation to let challenges go unaddressed and have faith in the power of conflict to product progress.
  • Be forthright and admit mistakes. Taking responsibility for the impact of our behaviors and be accountable. It’s a lot easier to be aggressive with course correction that it is to continue the defense of a poor decision.  This keeps us out of the blame game.
  • Be vulnerable. Don’t exaggerate or overpromise. It’s okay to learn together.
  • Keep confidences. When we speak to someone about the personal matters of others, it advertises our lack of trustworthiness.
  • Do not betray your values. You know what you believe. Be intentional about how your personal beliefs should up to others in the most intentional way possible.


Challenge Question

Going forward, what are some actions you can take to lift the needs of others to the level of your own?

Next: Ensuring Accountability

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