Want More Trust?

In my training and coaching work with organizations, I encounter folks who want meaningful connections with coworkers, friends, and family members. They leave our workshops feeling energized and well-equipped to break down barriers that get in the way of gutsy collaboration and good mojo. However, sometimes, within a couple of months, what seems like a new opportunity to open things up with other people becomes a heavy lift.

Instead of calling that uncomfortable but necessary one-to-one conversation with a person, our new trust-builder dodges the chance to do so. They carefully craft an email, wait and hope the issue resolves itself, or slide the topic onto the department meeting’s agenda. In other words, they play it safe. And the relationship trust that might have been built in that private chat doesn’t materialize.

Can you relate? Of course! Me, too.


Stuck relationships will get unstuck when the other person gets their act together. They will see the error of their ways, I will feel safe again, and we can begin to restore good communications and teamwork.


As opposed to merely peace, genuine trust is built on the other side of the “icky” place. This means working through the issue, not around it. Plus, there’s a 50/50 chance that I may need to adjust as much as the other person.

It’s the combination of these two that keeps many of us pinned down at crunch time. We feel a bit unsafe already, and the fear that we may need to change ourselves in some way is enough to delay us for another day. And that day turns into a week or a month or forever.


Here’s the thing. Thankfully, it helps to remember that trust-building always begins with me. Waiting for others to start to think or behave differently gives all my power away. I set myself a trap when I depend on others to become more trustworthy, apologize, or see the light of my way of thinking on their own.

Lighter Load

What can we do to improve trust the easy way? Make deposits in the trust accounts with each person in our world. Here are the top three ways that matter:

  1. Communicate as openly and honestly as we can. Share praise and constructive feedback when expectations aren’t met without blame, shame, or grudge.
  2. Show the person we care. Be as generous with our time and personal interest as we can.
  3. Demonstrate that we are as competent and reliable as we can be.

Doing these simple things creates a safe place where people can be themselves and trust us to handle their challenges in a positive way, even when we disagree.

Slow and steady wins this race – you can’t force trust. Once we realize that we are driving our own trust bus, we take small daily steps (like all that matters in life) with everybody around us. Then, when a tough conversation is needed, we can do it. It’s just not that big of a deal.

For more practical ideas on how to have more trust in your life and career, pick up a copy of The Building Trust 60-Day Workout.  To arrange for one or more personal Coaching sessions with Bruce, contact Deb@brucehendrick.com. Visit here to learn more about upcoming sessions of our fun and highly interactive trust-building workshop, The Building Trust Experience


Coming soon from Building Trust, LLC:  The BTE 2.0 Trust Acceleration Program

BTE workshop participants have been clamoring for follow-up training to apply their trust-building learning at a higher level. This new single-day program presents a wealth of new material presented in Bruce’s popular down-to-earth style. Let Deb@brucehendrick.com know if you’re interested!


Bruce Hendrick, Founder, and President, Building Trust