Learning how to build trust at work is crucial if you’re going to be successful as an employee, a manager, or an effective leader.

If you don’t have trust, it’ll be more difficult to communicate and coordinate with your colleagues. You may get passed over for promotions in favour of someone more trustworthy. In extreme cases, a lack of trust can even bring down your entire team.

Thankfully, there are proven and effective ways to build trust in the workplace. 


Be Honest

Telling the truth can be awkward but it is always better to be honest than be caught lying. Developing a reputation as someone who is dishonest is one of the fastest ways to lose trust and can make it very hard to build it again.

Think Long-Term

Trust requires long-term thinking. It might seem easy or convenient in the moment to blame someone else for a bad decision or to make decisions that benefit you in the short term, but before you act, think about how they may affect how others see you in the future.

Communication is Key

Try your best to communicate in a way that doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation as trust can be easily damaged by miscommunication. If you aren’t sure about something during a conversation, ask questions.

Listening is just as important as speaking when it comes to communication. Give others a chance to talk. It will show that you care if you genuinely listen.

Own up to Wrong-Doings

No one likes to hear excuses. If you do something wrong, it’s best to just be upfront about it. If you realise you were in the wrong, own up to it. Being vulnerable enough to admit fault can make you appear more trustworthy. Admitting mistakes is also part of being honest.

Be Helpful

Someone who is trustworthy will tend to go out of their way to help people if they can. This isn’t about a hidden agenda or because they expect to get something out of it but because they're genuinely a good person. If you notice a colleague struggling with their own workload, offer to help. Additinally, ask your manager if there’s anything extra you can take on.

Be Consistent

Following up your words with actions every now and then won’t build trust. You need to prove that you’re consistent. Practice what you preach, day in and day out, so your colleagues know what to expect and won’t have to wonder if you’re going to deliver.

In addition to being consistent with your performance, ensure consistency in your mood. An inconsistent mood may make colleagues nervous and it can make it difficult for them to trust you.

Stand up for what's Right

People respect and value honesty.

While some people may like “yes” people who agree with everything they say, the best people value insights and opinions. It is important not to sacrifice your values just to get ahead or to please your manager or colleagues as this will decrease trust with others.