Distrust – doubling the cost of doing business


When there is an absence of trust in a working relationship, employees will be reluctant to engage, trust is essential to a productive employee and employer relationship, I have seen the consequences of a lack of trust and it can be very destructive.

As Stephen M.R. Covey quotes 

When trust is low, in a company or in a relationship, it places a hidden “tax” on every transaction: every communication, every interaction, every strategy, every decision is taxed, bringing speed down and sending costs up. My experience is that significant distrust doubles the cost of doing business and triples the time it takes to get things done.

The first job of any leader is to inspire trust. Trust is confidence born of two dimensions: character and competence. Character includes your integrity, motive, and intent with people. Competence includes your capabilities, skills, results, and track record. Both dimensions are vital.


This hidden ‘tax’ can be reduced by building and developing a culture of trust through leadership behaviours, such as:

·         Openness – with those you work with – talk about your likes and dislikes

·         Consult with your team, invite opinions and views

·         In times of change, talk with your team at the earliest stage – encourage sharing of ideas and concerns

·         Be honest with your employees and work colleagues

·         Be honest with your customers – offer promises you will deliver on

·         If something doesn’t feel right – deal with it immediately

·         Listen

·         Be respectful  

·         Challenge your employees to work to their highest ability, encourage them to deliver, and be truthful with the reward they will receive when they reach their targets

·         Continue to learn and develop your skills, when you are skilled and competent you will inspire others


“If you are honest, truthful, and transparent, people trust you. If people trust you, you have no grounds for fear, suspicion or jealousy”.

Dalai Lama

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