The Business Coach with Laura Murphy: “I’m not trusted”

Q: “I’m new to the organisation and I’m finding it difficult for people to trust me. What’s the best approach?” Steve.

A: “You’re coming into an established group with their own conscious and unconscious codes of conduct and rules, established over some time. So you’re not experiencing anything unusual in not being able to build trust easily.

It’s important that you do so though, without being sucked into the group think that you were brought in to change. So how do you build trust? First you have to build up some understanding of the people you’re dealing with: who they are, what interests them, what motivates them. And let them get to know you. That will develop the, ‘I can deal with this person’ mentality that they, and you, need.

Be credible. You were brought in because of your expertise so let people know that you know what you’re talking about. Balance that with truly listening to them and their views. Be honest and if a gap in your knowledge is exposed, welcome the learning opportunity. The next step is reliability. Actions always speak louder than words so if you say you’re going to do something then do it.

Decisions you have to take may not always be to the liking of your colleagues. You have to take into account what is best for the company as well as for them. By being honest about that and establishing credibility for your decision making you’ll have gained their trust. The changes you need to make will then come more easily.”


Laura Murphy is the founder of mtc2 ltd, a management consultancy, training and coaching company. Laura is an organisation development specialist and business coach. If you have a problem then contact her at

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Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.