12 Characteristics of High Trust Leaders and Businesses

Trust in business relationships

John Lloyd is a B2B advisor and speaker, and a strategic alliance partner of Atmosphere Communications. Here, he shares his advice on building trust – the most important trait for any business or individual to possess.

There is one trait, more than any other that defines your success probability and how the market perceives you, your team, your products, services, and your brand.

That one important trait is TRUST.

The critical question you need to clearly answer is: “How do I create a connection with my market, clients, team and suppliers that influences the way they see me as the most trustworthy demonstration of having their best interest at heart?”

I list 12 high-trust behaviours that build stronger levels of trust with your market, team and vendors. Apply these across your business and I guarantee that your results will improve, fast.

  1. Talk straight: Be honest. Be authentic. Tell the truth. Don’t be vague or ambiguous. Say clearly what you mean.
  2. Demonstrate concern for others: Everyone matters so show empathy. Show you understand, respect, appreciate and acknowledge others.
  3. Be transparent: Open yourself to others with positive intention in a transparent manner.
  4. Understand that your clients are not always right: But it doesn’t really matter. I’m not saying that you give in to an unreasonable client, but you must remember that the solution and saving the relationship is the main priority.
  5. Commit and plan for the constant growth of trust: Measure each day how your business is growing trust. Improve your ability, understanding, respect, trustworthiness, relationships, appreciation and ability for you and your team to grow trust.
  6. Display loyalty: Show loyalty to everyone, including your clients, colleagues and vendors. This is a major attractor factor. People will multiply their commitment on your behalf and expand their willingness to support and help you.
  7. Face challenges head-on: Don’t avoid challenging situations and definitely don’t bury your head in the sand. Lead tough conversations with strength. A crisis faced head-on normally provides an opportunity to resolve issues, apologise and, more often than not, improve situations.
  8. Don’t play the blame game: Be accountable. Don’t blame others when things go wrong. Take appropriate responsibility for results and relationships.
  9. Be impeccable with your word: Say with clarity what you’re going to do, then do it. Make commitments carefully and ensure you keep them.
  10. Listen before you speak: Ask more questions. Find out what is most important to the other person. Don’t make assumptions. Understand before you diagnose.
  11. Your job is to deliver results: Results build trust. Mediocrity doesn’t count. Deliver results that far exceed the minimum expectations.
  12. Try hard to develop a YES attitude: Develop immunity to the word NO. Wherever possible avoid the words “but”, “can’t” and “impossible”. A YES attitude helps you formulate your responses in a positive form.

Learn how to suitably extend trust to others based on each situation and not emotional or personal issues. Extend trust in abundance to those who have earned your trust, and in principle to those who are earning it.

You want to build a reputation of authenticity, credibility and trust as a business owner, manager or sales consultant. Build a reputation not simply for the quality of your people, products and services, but in the quality of the relationships and bonds that you create with everyone you deal with.


John Lloyd of Brandstorm is a B2B advisor, sales growth expert, award-winning marketer and speaker.