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Trust: The Ultimate Competitive Advantage

culture leadership trust Jun 13, 2023

Have you ever taken a team-building course and participated in some form of trust-building exercise? If so, this is because trust is a key element in the workplace and one of the most critical to high-functioning teams.

In a 2017 Harvard Business Review article “The Neuroscience of Trust,” Paul J. Zak shares study results showing high-trust cultures experience significantly more:

  • job satisfaction,
  • alignment with company purpose,
  • feelings of closeness with coworkers,
  • sense of accomplishment,
  • workday energy,
  • productivity, and
  • overall engagement.

They also indicated forty percent less burnout.

Even more exciting, data also showed that offering trust before trustworthiness is demonstrated improves the likelihood of trustworthy reactions. Meaning, we can improve a culture of trust by offering trust before its earned.

Vulnerability breeds trust, which is shared through conversation and connection.

Active listening, meaningful questions, displays of interest, asking for help, empathy, and compassion all contribute to trust-building. Add in follow-up, check-ins, acknowledgment, and appreciation, and you have meaningful relationship development.

You will notice that this all takes time, which can be hard to find during this era of time famine. Take advantage of small moments for sincere connection to progressively build meaning and trust into your workplace interactions. Look for opportunities before and after meetings, collaboration sessions, lunch breaks, decompression walks, and more.

The best gift you can give someone is your trust.

I trust that you will want to learn more about the powerful impact of trust, and other competitive advantages, in Life After Burnout: Reclaim, Recover, Renew coming June 26th.


Courtney Murphy is a Career Coach and HR Consultant who brings nearly 20 years’ experience in corporate HR with degrees in Strategic HR Management, Psychology, and Diversity and Inclusion. 

With a passion for social and organizational psychology, Courtney has extensively studied occupational stress to discover effective and sustainable methods to improve engagement and motivate performace.

Courtney simplifies relevant data and useful information to help employees and companies thrive in their success.


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