Blog - Leadership and personal development articles

Trust & Respect in the Workplace

Trust and respect between team members can be the foundation for any great team.  Gone are the days where a leader’s title was enough to garner respect from the people who work for them.  We are thankfully in the days where we need to build up the trust and respect of our team.  We need to earn it.

The cost of an erosion of trust and respect is huge to a company.  It shows in reduced motivation and results.  It shows in increased conflict and infighting.  It shows in days filling with urgency instead of importance. I think you would agree that we all have enough of “those” type of competitors in our industry that we don’t need to create them in our company as well!

To start the conversation i want to celebrate two truths about trust & respect any leader needs to know:

Truth 1:  It is okay not to trust someone upfront.  They  should have to earn your trust.  It is NEVER okay not to give someone the chance to earn your trust.

Truth 2:  Some people around you have not earned nor deserve your current mistrust of them. The ball is in your court! 

Now for a closer look at each:

Truth 1: It is okay not to trust someone upfront.  People need to earn your trust. It is never okay not to give someone the chance to earn your trust.

Many of us, based on hurts of the past, have stopped delegating to others. We do this to try and prevent more hurt in the future but ironically as we try to do more and more ourselves we are setting ourselves up for failure and burnout.

It is totally okay to not trust someone upfront.  Now: I’m NOT suggesting you stare new colleagues and blurt out “Just so you know, I don’t trust you!”

Not at all….  I  am saying the lack of trust in any new relationship should focus leaders on building a healthy communication environment up front.

In any new relationship we need to focus on clear communication of expectations to prevent mistakes which lead to mistrust from happening.

Here is a reality check for any leader: 

‘If you CHOOSE to not spend the time upfront to communicate clearly what your expectations are and ensure they have the tools to do the job you CHOOSE to fill your days with urgencies caused by the mistakes that will be made!  You’ll increasingly feel that you don’t have the time to spend coaching when ironically it is only because you haven’t spent the time.  Results is a front end process and starts with communication.’  – David Benjatschek, Your Authorenticity Coach

 This ties closely with Truth 2:  Some people around you have not earned nor deserve your current mistrust of them. The ball is in your court!

Close to 9 times out of 10 when a leader doesn’t get what they expected it wasn’t because their employee couldn’t have delivered it.  The truth is that they weren’t clear on what was required.

Our job as a leader is so simple,  yet so hard:  Clear Expectations and the Tools to do the job.  9 times out of 10 our frustration with other’s lack of performance has a root cause in a lack of communicated clarity rather than their trustworthiness.  It is not fair to give someone a speeding ticket where there was no clear speed limit sign. You won’t like their reaction either when you try.

If you or your company wants some real life, powerful and practical coaching on Building or Restoring Trust and Respect in the workplace check out my website for upcoming workshop cities and dates. 

David Benjatschek is a sought after author/speaker and coach in the areas of corporate and personal leadership development and building great teams.  He is based in Calgary, Alberta but has travelled the  globe empowering leaders for the last 10 years.  You can email him at

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