Trust is an ethereal quality. Like oxygen or light, we notice it only by its absence― David Amerland

The inventor of a promising new invention, a solar-powered device that could change the ways automobiles were powered was approached by a businessman and investor who offered to manufacture, market and bring the solar panels to the global market, giving the inventor a royalty. The businessman was very excited about the product and saw it as a game-changer.

However, during their conversation, the businessman revealed with some pride that he never paid any taxes. The inventor was surprised to hear this and asked the inventor “how do you do it?”. “I keep two sets of books” The businessman replied smugly. The puzzled inventor asked, “So which set of books will you use to record the sales of my panels to compute the royalty you owe me?”. To that question, there was no reply. This was the end of the deal.

Trustworthiness is the quality of being honest, dependable and worthy of confidence. This trait is one of the most important qualities on which all relationships are built. Individuals who are trustworthy act openly, honestly and consistently which sets them apart from others. Trustworthiness is a form of both character and competence. For example, investors invest in and customers buy from brands and people they trust.

It is a lot less risky to be trusted than it is to have people suspicious of you.

If you are in sales roles, your success depends on the strength of ongoing relationships. If you hide crucial information, breaks promises, or fail to fulfill commitments, you undermine the trust that is so vital to repeat business.

Some sales professionals have the mistaken impression that you can succeed in business by cheating other people or pressuring them into buying things they don’t need. That may work in the short term, but it will prove to be a failing strategy in the long run. You are far more likely to be successful in sales or any other career if you stay in alignment with your values.

People who are trustworthy are frank and always acknowledge their feelings or “gut” which contributes to their aura of authenticity. An example of this could be admitting your nervousness to your peers before a big sales pitch.

By contrast, those who never admit a lapse of imperfection or who constantly hype themselves, their company or talents undermine their credibility. People trust those who are honest, believable, candid, unselfish and direct. It is a lot less risky to be trusted than it is to have people suspicious of you.

Being open about your mistakes and confronting other people about their lapses helps you to build your trustworthiness.

Trustworthiness translates into letting people know your values and principles, intentions and feelings, and acting in ways that are reliably consistent with them. Being open about your mistakes and confronting other people about their lapses helps you to build your trustworthiness.

Competency in trustworthiness as a skill means that you can act ethically, build trust through your reliability and authenticity and admit when you are wrong. This will naturally translate into taking tough, principled stands even if they are unpopular.

How can you begin?

  1. Be Honest: Telling the truth is difficult, it can even feel awkward or embarrassing. However, one of the ways to care about others is to be honest with them even if it comes at a cost to you. Strong and lasting relationships are developed on the foundation of truth. Be honest by telling the truth no matter how difficult it might be.
  2. Play by the rules: There are rules in place at workplaces, in sports or any civilized environment. These rules are in place to give structure to how to behave, interact with each other and treat one another. These rules are usually put in place for the best interest of everyone, follow them. The rules are usually not there to control you, but to help you care about other people. When you are trustworthy, and play by the rules, you demonstrate to others that you are reasonable and dependable.
  3. Be courageous when necessary: Trustworthiness sometimes is about choosing to stand for something. You make choices every day about how you act, how you treat others, what you say and how you respond to situations. Being courageous to do the right thing when it would be easier to do the wrong thing or to even do nothing is a step to demonstrating integrity and trustworthiness.
  4. Build a good reputation: If being trustworthy means being worthy of the confidence of others, then you have to intentionally build up your reputation as someone who can be counted on. When others know that you always tell the truth, you always play by the rules and that you are brave enough to do the right thing, then other people will start to put their trust in you. They will give you more responsibility, look up to you and will begin to count on you.

Hi, I’m David and I coach professionals to upgrade their resume, improve their emotional intelligence and earn more money. I am a professional recruiter and work as a consultant for a world-class recruiting firm. You can learn more about me at Also, feel free to check out my Ultimate Career Guide Course on Udemy.