Actions may speak louder than words, but words both spoken and unspoken have incredible power. These seven phrases can be used purposefully to help build trust among others.

I appreciate you because… Be specific about why someone is appreciated instead of giving a ‘group hug’ with words. Identify one thing that sets that person apart in a good way.

I’ve got your back. Who doesn’t need this kind of spoken support? Make sure people know who they can count on. They need to know their effort and achievements will be recognized, but they will also have someone to stand with them when help is needed or something has not gone as planned.

What are your thoughts? A great way to earn trust is to show someone their ideas and opinions are important. Ask for input and then listen. Make eye contact, take notes, be sincere in showing a desire to hear what they have to say.

I’m sorry. These two words can sometimes be hard to speak, but they will go miles towards building a relationship and healing a hurt. Don’t be embarrassed to admit a mistake and move on.

What Can I Do Differently? Asking this question indicates a willingness to make positive changes. This shows not only a respect for someone’s opinion but an eagerness to try their suggestions. Plan to follow up at some point with a conversation to make sure things are on the right track.

Can You Give Me a Hand? Asking for help is a big step towards building a relationship based on mutual trust. This sends a message that assistance is needed and they are a trusted source for that help.

Thanks for your help! Remembering to thank someone individually for their contribution will send the message that they are appreciated and noticed. People want to know that they are seen and are not taken for granted.

I’m glad you’re here. People need to feel validated and that they are a welcome part of the group.

Practice these simple phrases consistently and they will become a permanent conversation starter. More than that, these words will have purpose and the potential to build and maintain trust.