The Etiquette of Trust, or the ‘ABCs’ 

Trust is much desired and, perhaps, missed, the safety and desire to work somewhere in a trusting environment ranks high on most people’s lists when it comes personal, and professional, relationships.

Because of the intangibility of trust, it can seem illusive and in the etiquette of trust, there are three aspects, or actions, that are imperative. Let’s call them the “ABCs” of trust. They include:




The approachability aspect includes being open, available, transparent and vulnerable. This cannot be an act, or simple actions, these all are to be real, accessible and clear to everyone, instead of an “open door policy” when it is convenient.

Being believable is about knowing the truth, your storytelling and sharing. This belief factor is not a one-way street, rather it is the willingness to see, hear and believe in others, their desires and their concerns.

Your compassion will allow, and implore, you to seek and embrace, others in the ways that allow you share your emotional intelligence including optimism, empathy and admitting when you don’t know, or understand,  what is happening with someone, yet you are genuinely interested in them as human beings.

Throughout the process of sincere building of trust, you must trust yourself that you have the right reason for engaging—no ulterior motives allowed. You can “put on” approachability, believability or compassion but you can only be approachable, believable and compassionate. 

Nobody is perfect, though, so if you misstep, overlook or completely botch something, quickly own it and apologize once. It’s that simple. But correct it as you learn from it. There is no need to belabor an innocent miss, as long as you are clear in addressing it and moving ahead. 

Know that the approach is about progressing to a trusting foundation, and culture, trust others are willing to be approachable, believable and compassionate, too. 

These ABCs of trust and trust-building will be the three best ways to genuinely and sincerely allow yourself to grow as a leader. ♦

Debbie Lundberg is the founder and chief executive officer, of the Florida-based firm Presenting Powerfully, where she delivers keynotes, facilitation, teaming and coaching. As a 12-time published author, certified virtual presenter, certified life coach, certified leadership coach and certified image consultant, Lundberg co-hosts the Business of Life Master Class podcast. Her book, Remote Work Rockstar, is a guidebook for working, and leading virtually. She recently ended a four-year commitment as chair of the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red, in order to serve on the Patient and Family Advisory Council for Tampa General Hospital. 

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