The Essence of Building Trust:  Tangible Steps


The importance of trust between team members and a manager is always covered within leadership development.  It is a fundamental area that managers need to be aware of and need to focus on.

However, it is also a difficult one to achieve.  In this article, we share tips on tangible steps that managers can take to help with building trust.


One of the first things that we focus on in leadership development is communication.  Without good communication skills, little else that the manager does will work.  And communication is at the heart of building trust.

What should you think about when communicating as managers to build trust?

  • Communicate clearly with team members about what is going on within the company and within the team, such as new business wins, market changes and project updates
  • As a manager question how good your communication really is.  The manager may feel that he or she is communicating openly and clearly but they should seek feedback from team members on how they are finding the communication levels, if they know enough about what is going on or if anything could be done differently
  • If there are challenges within the team or company, then continuing communication becomes more important to reassure and motivate staff
  • All communication should be direct and clear, with straight responses that fully answer any questions or issues
Building Trust


Ask questions of team members to find out how they are getting on, hear their views or seek their input and then fully listen to their responses.  It can be easy to ask questions but not actually listen to the answers and people pick up on this quickly.

Using open questions and delving a little deeper to better understand the individuals’ viewpoint or input will help the manager to learn more about that team member.  The team members could come up with some new and fresh ideas that the manager can utilise.  By providing feedback, the manager will also encourage employees to continue to have input and they will feel valued.

Finally, it is important to provide feedback if the manager has taken any of the ideas or information forward.  It is equally important to feedback if the ideas have not been moved forward and the reasons why.

All of these steps will help build a relationship with the team member and help to build trust.


Building Trust

It is obvious to team members if the manager does not fully trust them.  The manager can help show trust by delegating team members tasks, allowing the team member to do it in his or her own way and by giving constructive feedback at the end.

By allowing the team members to have their own responsibilities, and independence to complete tasks, and by providing clear feedback, the manager not only helps their team members to develop, but also demonstrate trust in them.


Doing what we say we are going to do, behaving in accordance with the organisation’s values, taking responsibility for our actions including when things go wrong, and standing up for our team members, are all part of behaving with integrity and honesty.

Leading by example is essential and behaving appropriately, however we might be feeling, are all part of building trust.

If things are going wrong, highlighting that there is a problem, but also what can be done to fix it, will help to maintain trust too.  Things do go wrong and sometimes promises cannot be met but how we handle these situations will play a big role in how we are judged as managers.


Spending time understanding our own motivations and behaviours, and those of others can help bridge gaps in relationships.

This can be a difficult and sometimes uncomfortable area to explore but is worth investing time in.  There are specific tools that exist to develop understanding of this area in a safe and non threatening way.  The benefit of such tools is to prepare managers to develop better relationships, and help them prevent and minimise conflict.


If we have touched on anything you feel you would like to explore further, please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you and your team.


Call us on +44(0) 1651 873398

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