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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Building Trust: The Bond that Must Be Earned

Updated: May 26, 2020

I was shocked to pull five of my counseling training books off the shelf and not find the word “trust” in the index. Happily, I found over 400,000 results on a journal publisher’s database with the word “trust” showing up anywhere. Similarly, over 40 books focused on trust were found on Amazon in the counseling department. While these results may indicate that my bookshelf is outdated, it may be a sign that “trust” is a key word in today’s work world. Whether you are a counselor or not, the value of building trust in a relationship is not to be underestimated. ~ Melanie Reinersman,

FOCUS ON: Trust and Team-building

Getting everyone on the team to go the extra mile involves all the components of trust: telling the truth, avoiding bad-mouthing, fulfilling commitments, giving credit – and the list goes on. Building “psychological safety” i.e., “the belief that you won’t be punished” requires trust. Having trust on the team means looking out for employees’ interest and making the boss look successful – therefore the team (and the organization) can succeed. Read more from and

JOB SEARCHING: Boomerang Employees and Trust

Today’s talent values trust and may not return to a former employer without it. If organizations instill trust in the foundation of the days the employee was first with the company, then a boomerang (a returning employee) is more likely to succeed. Read more about rehiring.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Emotional Intelligence, Trust and Servant Leadership Connected

Servant leadership in a workplace setting correlates positively with both emotional intelligence and trust. Those aspiring to become leaders in organizations may need coaching and mentoring via a relationship built over time so that trust develops. Read more on this research.

What Other Career Development Professionals Are Saying About Trust

Lee Richmond shares “a few thoughts about listening, asking questions, and reflecting accurately” in her blog. Coaches and counselors would do well to think about what needs to happen in the relationship with the client. Richmond believes that the counselor must take care and activate trust in the questioning process to better understand the client when she says, “accurate reflection requires a slowing down, allowing for silence, contemplation, and enough trust in one’s intuition to not feel afraid of asking the questions that will make meaning visible.” Read more from PsyCoun Consulting.

TOP TEN: Confidentiality Rules to Follow to Earn Trust

Sharing privacy rules and taking care of recorded sessions are both obvious components of confidentiality and trust. Counselors also need to ask permission before sharing any aspect of the relationship to demonstrate transparency, as well as control their expression so clients feel comfortable revealing shocking details. Read all ten rules of confidentiality that lead to trust in the relationship.


“Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.” - Booker T. Washington
“Trust—It’s the sacred bond between you and your team that must be earned, not just be freely given or taken. “ - Toastmasters


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