Human Trust Breakers: Acknowledge & Prevent These #PeopleSkills

There are many human trust breakers that we overlook. Because we don’t acknowledge them, we often don’t even know the rifts they cause. This is big trouble in leadership, teamwork, morale, customer relations, and yes, personal life relationships. So let’s acknowledge and prevent the following human trust breakers! Trust really does matter.



Human Trust Breakers: Image is Magnifying glass looking at broken pencil point.

Unacknowledged Human Trust Breakers to Prevent. Image by Bruce Denis via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by Bruce Denis via Flickr Creative Commons License.



Acknowledge & Prevent These Human Trust Breakers!

There are behaviors that most everyone believes destroy trust. Among these are lying, cheating, stealing, prejudice, and bullying to name a few. Yet there are many trust breaking behaviors that people don’t acknowledge. So let’s take a closer look at what else destroys trust.



Prevent These Leadership Trust Breakers

  1. Talking never questioning and listening. If you don’t engage other’s ideas, they will not trust that you value them.

  2. Taking others for granted. Instead, recognize and appreciate their efforts and results. Also consider their human needs. They are not robots.

  3. Playing favorites. Favoritism is a big trust breaker. It values some and not others. Instead, be fair.

  4. Blaming. What good can come of blaming others? If your goal as a leader is to prevent the same mistakes in the future, don’t blame. Engage people to be accountable. Blaming breaks trust because it makes people feel bad without anyway to improve. They believe you will blame and shame them over and over.

  5. Creating Obstacles & Abandoning Them

  6. Creating obstacles. When leaders make employees’ work tougher, they don’t trust the leaders. For example, when leaders refuse to work with their leadership colleagues, it makes cross teamwork with other departments very tough. Your employees will think you have created an obstacle. In their minds you should clear obstacles not create them.

  7. Abandoning them. In tough moments will you have your employees’ backs? This doesn’t mean making them more important than the customers. It means that you take ownership of policies and poor training that hurts employees and customers.


Teamwork Trust Busters

  1. Selfishness. Teamwork requires giving and working together. Self-absorbed behaviors won’t do it. Listen, collaborate, give, receive, honor others, and celebrate each other.

  2. Taking credit for other’s contributions. Acknowledge teammate contributions. Celebrate talents and learn from each other.

  3. Sliding along with minimal effort. When you do the least you can, it affects the whole team. They won’t trust anything else about you if you are not committed to the team’s success.

  4. Being a maverick. Although mavericks claim they are doing it for the team’s success, it destroys trust because it doesn’t include the team.


Customer Trust Breakers

  1. Selling not caring. Picture a sales rep or customer service agent that uses a script. They show no care for customers. Why would customers trust you? Lack of care is one of the biggest human trust breakers in any setting. Forget the script. Introduce yourself, listen to the customer, and create a valuable solution for them.

  2. Mistrusting the customer. Picture sellers who make it very difficult for customers to return items. The sellers demand lots of personal information before they authorize a return. If you allow returns in your business, then don’t make it difficult to do it. It makes customers feel that you don’t trust them.

  3. Unclear websites. Besides feeling frustrated in dealing with unclear websites and instructions, customers also feel mistrustful. They wonder why have you made it so unclear. What are you trying to slide past them? For example, a pop-up discount coupon offer that they can’t use makes them mistrust you. Unclear shipping charges are suspect. Prevent all of this with user testing and feedback of your site.


Unacknowledged Human Trust Breakers

Let’s not forget the everyday trust breakers that apply to every interaction in life.

  1. Disrespecting and degrading others. Every human being deserves basic respect. There is extra trust people earn for their talents and contributions. Yet that is different from basic human respect. Make sure you know when you are most likely to disrespect others.

  2. Controlling others. Every human needs a sense of control in their lives. Manipulators try to take that away and that breaks trust! Instead, honor other’s needs and respect their choices.

  3. Ignoring others. You may not even mean to ignore others yet your actions may do just that. You may be an introvert that doesn’t say hello and introduce yourself. Yet it can make others feel unwanted. This breaks the chance for trust. Reach out and acknowledge others. It matters.



What other human trust breakers would you add to this list of 16?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Rebuilding Trust: 3 Tough Leadership & Teamwork Truths
Super Customer Experience: Rapport is the Artery to the Heart of Trust

©2021 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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