Woman talking to Man

Trust makes the workplace so much better. Just think about your own experiences with teams or organizations that you felt confident in. Likely, the assurance made colleagues feel more comfortable interacting and sharing ideas – even ones that felt a little bit risky. It probably produced an environment where teammates believed in each other’s capacity to take on challenges, address differences and come up with great solutions, allowing everyone to focus on the projects where they could contribute their strengths and add value.  

A trusting environment feels positive for its employees, and it adds up in terms of results. At high-trust organizations, staff are 50% more productive and have 106% more energy at work. Companies that are brimming with conviction also see higher innovation and lower turnover rates.  

To design this type of climate, one starting point that employers and employees may overlook is simply understanding what trust means to others. According to Merriam-Webster, the term is defined as 

Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something.  

While this description is somewhat clarifying, how that reliance gets built is likely to be different for each person. Depending on their Thinking and Behavioral preferences as well as their workplace experiences, people will have distinct approaches and expectations when it comes to developing trust with their colleagues and organization.  

To help staff develop a more holistic understanding of the actions that enhance confidence, let’s explore how the Emergenetics® Attributes may evaluate and define the concept. 

NewAnalyticalTrust Comes from Credibility 

Individuals with an Analytical preference develop a sense of conviction in their executives and colleagues when they see their expertise and believe they will make sound decisions, based on reason. To cultivate trust, coworkers and leaders can demonstrate their knowledge, show their experience as well as apply logic and data to address challenges and opportunities. 

Pen On PaperAssurance Comes from Dependability

People with a preference for Structural thinking often feel more comfortable relying on others when their coworkers and the corporation follow through on their commitments. Setting realistic expectations and adhering to agreed-upon responsibilities will build belief in the workplace. 

People talking bubbles iconBelief Comes from Empathy

Conviction grows with those who have a Social preference when they recognize that their managers, leaders and company truly care about all stakeholders. Assurance will flourish in climates where individuals are cared for as whole people and their feelings are validated. 

Light bulb with brain inside iconConviction Comes from Freedom

Employees who have a preference in Conceptual thinking are better able to rely on their coworkers if they believe they have the latitude to try new things and raise ideas without judgment. Giving personnel the space to share their thoughts and experiment freely encourages trust and understanding with this Attribute. 

Two talking bubbles iconTrust Comes from Balancing Talking and Listening

People in the third-third of Expressiveness gain confidence in colleagues and supervisors who are willing to serve as sounding boards and talk through their inputs and feelings with one another. First-third Expressiveness values creating space to hear the thoughts of others. To inspire conviction, mindfully pause and ensure that everyone has a platform to express themselves while listening fully when others are speaking. 

Car iconAssurance Comes from Honoring Honesty and Consensus

Third-third Assertive individuals value direct conversation. They are more likely to feel they can depend on their coworkers when they know their honest opinions and viewpoints are readily (and openly) shared. For those in the first-third of Assertiveness, it’s important to seek consensus as directions are set. When employees know that their employers are committed to promoting consensus and seeking buy in from all, trust grows. 

Arrow on sign pointing in different directions iconConfidence Comes from Openness and Follow Through

Third-third Flexibility appreciates having opportunities to propose and consider alternative ideas. Discussing options and hearing out proposals for course corrections supports assurance. While making space for adjustments is important, it is also valuable to commit to following through on decisions once they’ve been made to honor first-third Flexibility. By adhering to plans and only making changes for good reason, those in the first-third are more likely to believe that their executives and organizations are reliable. 

Gaining clarity on the nuances behind trust can inspire every person inside of a company to recognize what sorts of actions will increase confidence. To build on these insights and sustain a high-trust atmosphere, I have two other resources I’d recommend that you explore. 

I invite you to read a blog post from my colleague to learn how to assess belief in the workplace and to download our guide, Cultivate a High-Trust Organization, to discover five ways that executives, managers, Learning & Development and Human Resources professionals can further promote confidence. 

HIgh-Trust Organization Guidebook

Discover how Emergenetics can empower you on the path to a better workplace climate. Fill out the form below to speak with one of our team members today. 


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