Are YOU contributing to a high-trust workplace?

If I asked you to measure the trust and quality of relationships that you have on your team- with your teammates, on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is super HIGH trust and 1 is super LOW trust,  what score would you give? 

Now, if I ask you to measure the trust and quality of relationships that you experience in your organization in general (using the same scale), would anything change? 


I often do this activity in my Building a High Trust Workplace class, using a "measuring scale" that I create on the floor. I ask people to stand up and move around to demonstrate their score... first by scoring the trust on their immediate team, and then by scoring the trust in the larger organization. 

The difference in scores is astounding!

In general, people experience higher trust with their immediate teams, and the "trust score" goes down when they think about their workplace in general (i.e. when they think about their relationship with other teams or with upper management). 


Why is this!?

And how do we build trust across the chasm!? 


First, let's focus on the good news. Many people report having fair to good levels of trust in their teams. This is a great place to start. 

If we could all work on understanding and building trust in our most immediate relationships, where we feel the effects most profoundly, then we could translate that experience to people farther and farther out from our inner circle. 

We could apply the same trust-building commitments OUTSIDE of the circle, as we do INSIDE. For example, we could…

  • Give others (even our senior leaders) the benefit of the doubt
  • Get curious (rather than judgmental) when something seems "off"
  • Speak up about our needs and feelings, and make requests when we feel overlooked or misunderstood
  • Reach out to make interpersonal connections with others
  • Approach every challenge as a problem that calls for a win-win solution  


If each of us became pro-active trust-builders– always seeking ways to enhance trust at every turn– then our workplaces could transform with ease!


Also, whether you are the "formal" leader or not, if you want to create a high-trust workplace, then take action! Don't wait for someone else to fix it! Focus on trust as a way of life.


Don't let trust be an after-thought!


Remember that we are always sending "messages" that can be construed by others as either trust-building or trust-breaking. Think about…

  • The way you share information
  • The quality of the results that you deliver
  • How proactive you are in addressing problems
  • How responsive you are to others
  • How helpful you are
  • The degree of transparency you create around your goals, your work, and your outcomes
  • The amount of time you spend listening as opposed to speaking
  • The degree to which you share your real self and encourage others to do the same
  • Who has access to you and who doesn't 


Every small action sends a message about who and what you value, what really matters, how much you trust others, and how trustworthy you really are!


TRUST is personal. It's NOT someone else's job!


The degree of trust in your organization affects everything. 

It impacts morale, engagement, productivity, innovation, creativity, and SO MUCH MORE!!!

Don't leave it to chance. 

Take action and be a proactive trust-builder today!


Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash (


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