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Building Trust in Working Relationships: The Key to Success

Trust is an essential aspect of any relationship, including working relationships. It takes time to establish trust, yet it can be sabotaged in seconds with a single action.

When trust is absent, it can make working together difficult, frustrating, and stressful. On the other hand, when trust exists, it can accelerate performance and act as a leavening agent, resulting in optimal performance.

Trust is a crucial component of any successful relationship, and building it requires personal responsibility. In this article, we will explore the significance of trust in working relationships and practical steps that can help increase trust.

Lack of Trust

When trust is missing in a working relationship, it can lead to frustrating and stressful conditions, hindering productivity and increasing tension. Trust issues can arise when one party is suspicious of the other’s intentions.

For instance, a worker may doubt his or her colleague’s motives if he thinks they are only benefiting themselves or trying to sabotage their career. This lack of trust, if left unaddressed, can snowball into more significant problems, leading to disagreements, broken commitments, and poor outcomes.

Trust as a Performance Accelerator

Trust is the Speed of Trust book by Stephen Covey is a critical performance accelerator that facilitates the flow of work. It eases the collaboration process, leading to quicker resolution times and better decision-making.

When there is trust between team members, there tends to be a high level of alignment, and miscommunication is less common. Instead of focusing on the problem itself, the group can concentrate on solving the problem, quickly and effectively.

Personal Responsibility for Building Trust

Ultimately, building trust is a personal responsibility. It is not something that can be demanded or forced upon another person.

Trust begins with becoming trustworthy yourself and inviting trust from others. It involves being consistent and demonstrating trustworthiness, honesty, and transparency in your actions.

Not only does this make it easy for others to trust you, but it also sets the foundation for a positive working relationship.

Practical Steps to Increase Trust

Job Performance

One of the most effective ways to increase trust is to showcase job performance. Displaying competence and getting things done demonstrates reliability and opens the pathway for trust.

Workers can do this by taking ownership of their responsibilities, following through with tasks, and delivering top-quality results.

Congruence Between Words and Actions

Actions speak louder than words, and this rings true in building trust in working relationships. It is essential to ensure that your words align with your actions.

Actions that contradict promises or statements can shatter trust. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that there are no hidden agendas, and all intentions are transparent and aligned with your words.

Honoring Commitments

Consistency is key to building trust in working relationships. Honoring commitments shows that you are reliable, and others can depend on you to deliver as expected.

It is vital to communicate expectations clearly and ensure that you deliver on them. If you cannot commit, it is better to communicate early rather than let down another person.

Transparent Communication

Communication is vital in every relationship. In the workplace, transparent communication is the lifeblood of trust in working relationships.

Be transparent about what you intend to do and how you plan to deliver. Clearly communicate your expectations of others, listen actively to feedback, and address concerns promptly.

Hiding in the face of bad news destroys trust.

Compassionate Attitude

A compassionate attitude is an excellent way of building trust in working relationships. It involves expressing care and concern for others’ feelings and viewpoints.

A bridge-builder approach helps to provide the necessary context for decision-making while acknowledging the impact on others. The absence of empathy and care can hurt trust levels.


Trust is the bedrock of successful working relationships, and the absence of it can cause tension, disagreements, and broken commitments. Building trust requires personal responsibility, including a demonstration of trustworthiness, consistency, transparency, and compassion.

These practical steps can help increase trust in working relationships, enabling higher levels of performance and collaboration. Trust is vital to achieving team success, and it requires the application of patience, effort, and consistency.

In conclusion, trust is a vital component of any working relationship that accelerates performance and builds better collaboration. While a lack of trust can result in tension, frustration, and disappointments, building trust requires personal responsibility and a demonstration of trustworthiness, consistency, transparency, and compassion.

Practical steps that can foster trust include showcasing job performance, aligning words and actions, honoring commitments, transparent communication, and a compassionate attitude. By implementing these steps, workers can reap the benefits of trust and build better working relationships, leading to more successful outcomes.

Trust is a precious resource that requires effort to build and protect, and it can empower workers and teams to achieve greater success together.

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