Building Trust

Back to the Resource Hub →

We all need trust in our lives to make connections. Trust is built upon transparency, exploration, connection, and communication. We spend more time at work than almost anywhere else.

So what are you doing to build trust with your team? (... or your mentor?)

Building trust at work is a pretty hard task. It is hard to maintain too. So why even bother? 

Trust creates great teams, supports innovation, and allows your team to grow.  I have seen great teams pull together to deliver exceptional client experiences. Teams also fall apart due to stress, poor communication, and broken trust.

I was part of a team where the manager was a bully. He would make fun of people who didn’t fit. He never brought us together as a team, except to make fun other each other or point out our flaws.
When he saw bullying he would ignore it or join in.
I never felt confident enough to lean on my other team members for support. I ended up leaving and it affected my ability to trust new teams and colleagues for many years.
— Samantha Bowen, Acorn Network Founder


BUT! Trust can bring out our inner rainbows and allows us to:

  • Connect our personal values with the organisation,
  • Grow and evolve in the workplace,
  • Explore new ways of 'doing'
  • Be open to new ideas and experiences

We are all inspired by workplaces when we trust. 

So what are some easy step for you, as a leader, to build trust with your team?



Building transparent practices and experiences happens through removing assumptions and ambiguity to allow people to see why you are making certain decisions OR asking these questions to your supervisor. Transparency in organisations is ESSENTIAL. Organisations must prove they are honest, own up to failures, and allow employees to see their vulnerabilities. Building trust and ownership needs to happen at all levels.



Good and bad feedback (with tact of course!) is essential in any team. If people quit because of constructive criticism - are these the people you want on your team anyway? Listening, really listening to the needs of your team is vital if we are to grow and work on our strengths within our roles. Feedback helps us do just that.



Autonomy over processes and roles, allowing people to try new things outside of the ‘norm’. Anything that allows someone to own a project and the process will allow them to grow. Yes, monitor and ask questions but the freedom to do this in an a way they want is simply one of the best feelings in the world. This can be creating a new project they are passionate about, or allowing them to take on a task to increase their leadership skills. Trust in your team’s ability to explore within their roles.



All of these things are great but if you don’t know how to connect with people you aren’t going to lead effectively for long. Do you know what is going on outside of work? We can’t just leave our lives at the door anymore. Create time to connect on a personal level. What drives them in their job? What makes them smile? Where to they see themselves in 5 years time? 

Leaders must be able to take people on a journey, understanding the people they are leading is vital to creating trust and a rockstar team. It's even more important as we create multi-generational teams.

Build lasting trust with your mentor is a great way to practice these skills. Are you ready for the challenge? More importantly, are you ready for the positive impact you will make?


If you’re keen to learn more, then I suggest you see this video on trust by Simon Sinek [12 mins].
It’s really one of my favourites. 

Back to the Resource Hub →