7 reasons your coworkers don’t trust you


Seven reasons your co-workers might not trust you and how to avoid the most common mistakes.


You may think something needs to be extreme or scandalous to take a toll on your relationships with co-workers, but small breaches of trust over time kill productivity, performance, and morale.

Dennis and Michelle Reina, co-founders of the Reina Trust Building Institute, and co-authors of the business books Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace and Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace line out seven reasons in this article from  TechRepublic about why your co-workers might not trust you and show how to avoid the most common mistakes:

1. You withhold trust in others

Trust is a two-way street.  If you want people to trust you, you need to trust them.  For starters, avoid micromanaging.  Instead, give your co-workers the latitude to put their full talents to work.

2. You fail to acknowledge effort

When a co-worker goes above and beyond for you, how do you respond? Do you take a moment to personally recognize his effort? Or do you just say “Thanks” in a perfunctory email and move on to the next task?

3. You miss deadlines

Life happens and you miss a deadline here and there.  No big deal, right? Wrong.  Every time you don’t deliver, you betray trust because your co-workers were depending on you.

4. You arrive late for meetings

When you consistently arrive late, your co-workers feel that you’re wasting their time.  They also feel that you’d only be willing to do that if you think your time matters more than theirs.

5. You don’t admit your mistakes

By admitting your own mistakes, you not only acknowledge your humanity but also allow your co-workers to acknowledge theirs.  As a result, communication opens up, mutual trust is built, and people feel free to take smart, creative risks.

6. You spin the truth

Do your co-workers know that they count on you to tell the truth or do they just assume you’ll tweak it? Tell it like it is.  Spin never passes the sniff test anyway; people see it for what it is and, sooner or later, lose trust.

7. You behave badly

Be aware of your behavior.  Instead of berating a co-worker for missing a deadline, for instance, calmly ask how and why things got off track.  Understand what that person needs from you in the future.

via TechRepublic.

photo credit: Victor1558  cc



  • Great points as to what will make your co-workers distrust you. I believe each of these are equally important and doing the opposite will score you big office points. Great read.

  • I have witnessed all of these behaviors in co-workers and I can attest they do break down trust- especially coming from a manager.

    All too often I think otherwise perfectly reasonable and purposeful employees get caught up trying to make themselves look better than they are and it really breaks down trust and makes them look worse.

    Take admitting your mistakes, for example. Everyone makes mistakes! Not owning up when you’ve made a mistake doesn’t really make you look more competent, it makes you look less competent because your co-workers don’t trust you and don’t know that you’re not going to make the same mistake again. When you admit mistakes you are relatable and human, and your co-workers know you’ve given it thought and aren’t likely to make the same mistake twice.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!


    • Thanks Chrysta!
      Admitting mistakes is such an easy thing to do, yet also the one some have such trouble with. I think accepting responsibility is right up there too. Too often people don’t want to make a decision of perform an action because they don’t want to be responsible for its outcome, so nothing gets done!


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