Trust is the foundation of every relationship. If you have to deal with people you don’t trust or they don’t trust you, it can be extremely draining and challenging. The basis of every interaction is that people can trust that you are who you say you are and you do what you say you do.

Without trust, establishing a relationship, whether that’s in your personal or professional life, can be very tricky, so in order to build a successful relationship, you have to first successfully build trust. The core elements of trust are competence, meaning that you actually have the skills and expertise to do what you say you do, reliability, meaning that you will honor your commitment and last but not least, sincerity, which is an assessment of someone else’s character and their commitment to integrity.

While building trust takes time and can be tricky in certain situations, we put together our TOP 10 powerful strategies to build and establish trust.

#1 Communicate Openly
One of the key ingredients to creating trust is open communication. You need to communicate in a meaningful, honest way and give the other person the opportunity to do the same. Make sure that everybody gets a chance to be open and talk and discuss anything that is on their mind. Spend time face-to-face to get to know each other, discuss expectations and experiences and let emotions and feelings be known.

#2 Know Yourself
Before we can be honest to someone else and start to build a trusting relationship, we need to know ourselves and understand how we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. A lot of times we are influenced by society, family and friends and refuse to see our own truth and what we want out of life. When we know who we are and live a life true to ourselves, we can be honest to the people around us and it is much more likely to build a relationship of trust.

#3 Make Your Actions Match Your Words
Building trust means that others will be able to believe that when you say you are going to do something that you will actually be able to handle the task and successfully and complete it in a timely manner. When you made a commitment and a promise to do something, it is essential to follow through on that commitment, even if you don’t feel like it. There will be certain situations that require you to break a commitment, if this is the case, communicate it early and negotiate how you can make up for it.

#4 Be Open to Feedback
Just like we should be open to others and communicate our emotions, feelings and experiences, we should also be willing and open to hear honest feedback that is directed towards us. The other person has their own point of view and may be experiencing a situation completely different. Rather than argue, look for the truth in the other person’s feedback and don’t be reactive, defensive or punishing for the feedback. To build trust, the other person needs to feel comfortable to open up and honestly let you know how they feel.


#5 Don’t Hide Your Feelings
A lot of people hide their feelings to avoid being vulnerable. But keep in mind, people trust and like people who are like them, which means that if you receive sad news, they expect you to appear sad. If you receive exciting news, they expect you to appear happy and excited. That way others can related to you and understand you. If you are trying to hide those emotions, you will seem heartless and who really trusts a heartless person. Communicating your emotions honestly is an incredibly powerful tool when you are trying to build a relationship of trust.

#6 Think Before Acting
A lot of broken trust comes from a person agreeing to something that they don’t want to do. Be careful not to be that person. Before you commit to a promise, make sure that you are ok with it and will be happy to keep your promise. Consider what’s involved in keeping your commitment, so you don’t find out later that you neither have the time nor the desire to actually follow through. As uncomfortable as it may seem, saying ‘no’ builds trust, because even if the other person is disappointed in the moment, promising something and then not following through has much worse consequences.

#7 Don’t Take Relationships for Granted
Don’t fail to value the relationships that you already have and have had for years. It can be very easy to take a friendship for granted until a problem comes up and then we realize that we have neglected that person. Even when life gets busy, make sure you always find a little time for those that matter most to you in your life. Making the time to build a supportive, valuable relationship is the foundation of trust.

#8 Always Be Honest
We shouldn’t have to say this, but honesty is always your best bet. A lot of people tell small lies to protect others or to avoid trouble. But consider when the other person finds out that you lied. This will make them believe that you are willing to lie about everything and you lost your chance of building trust. While it is commendable to always want to present information in the best possible way, you should always communicate the truth.

#9 Develop Your Team Skills
Whatever team you are part of, remember that you have value to offer, because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be part of the team. Don’t sit quietly in the corner and don’t contribute, because those people will be viewed as freeloaders that others don’t trust. Fully participate in the team you are part of. Offer your view and insight and people will respect you and trust you. They may not always agree with you, but they value that you are willing and open to have a discussion and share your point of view. At the same time, demonstrate your willingness to trust others.

#10 Admit Your Mistakes
It’s part of our human experience, we all make mistakes. Rather than trying to hide your mistakes and with that hiding your own humanity, which makes people believe that you are being dishonest, accept and acknowledge your mistakes and give everybody the opportunity to share your experience and what you’ve learned from it. Showing your vulnerable side is a tremendous assent in building trust with others, because they see that you are just like them.

Honesty and trust are the key components of every relationship. It doesn’t just avoid hurting each other with lies and dishonesty, it also allows us to live in reality and share that reality with others. While building trust can be difficult for some because they have been deceived or hurt in the past, don’t give up on trusting people and yourself and focus on being a trustworthy person who lives with integrity and honesty.

Joschi & Monika

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