One Small Change to Build Trust


Our language is very important, and it’s the small nuances that make all the differences. Our language is the channel that turns thoughts into actions, so when it comes to building trust, how leaders use the word can make a drastic difference.

Our sentences are comprised of nouns and verbs and other parts of speech. If your middle school grammar lessons are a bit fuzzy, nouns are either a person, place, or thing, and verbs are action words. There are some words considered to be both nouns and verbs depending on how you use them. For instance, the word run: I always run after work: verb. I have to go for a run after work: noun.


Other words that change from verb to noun are very powerful like love, hate, and trust. I love you. I’m filled with love. I hate this. I’m filled with hate. I trust you. We have a relationship built on trust. Trust is very important in any workplace, but it’s extremely important for a leader. According to Paul Zak’s article in the Harvard Business Review entitled, “The Neuroscience of Trust,” “55% of CEOs think that a lack of trust is a threat to their organization’s growth. But most have done little to increase trust, mainly because they aren’t sure where to start.”

I advocate for one small change to help build trust as a leader. Use trust as a verb instead of a noun. Instead of saying, “we need to build more trust.” Start saying, “I trust you.” Shift your language from treating trust as a thing to be acquired and lost, sand move it to something you do regularly. Trust is reciprocal and showing your team you trust them will build their trust in you. Show you trust to build trust.


For more small shifts to enhance your communication, your leadership, and your business, contact us at Executive Suite Communication.