How To Build Trust Amidst Uncertainty

Trust is one of the most valuable commodities in the world. Everything is built on the foundation of trust – the relationship you have with your family, team members, friends. Economic systems, brands and organizations are built on trust. If you think about it TRUST is the currency of business and life! Thus, your ability to build trust is crucial and in times of uncertainty even more so.

Here is an excerpt from my Access4Success virtual conversation with Tal Moore (CDO – Kalispel Tribe | NNHARA Director) and Rebecca Smith (Director Talent Management MGM Resorts International) on how to build trust. Prefer to watch the video? Click below.

Haydee: How do you build trust amidst uncertainty?


I think leadership trust is critically important during these times. Three things are essential when building trust 1. Transparency 2. Communication 3. A People-First Approach. The companies right now that do the right thing in this moment of crisis are going to create brand and leadership trust that will remain for a long time. Before these times we were all competing for the same talent. When this is over – the way companies have built trust and the leadership trust will be a differentiator when attracting talent. It’s been super impressive the way that our industry has come together during this time. As leaders we can emulate those behaviors even when we’re not the person who’s making the decision about whether employees get paid or whether we’re able to give up our own salary. We can emulate those behaviors on a day to day basis by just being transparent having that “people-first” focus and using that as your bar. People don’t expect leaders to know all the answers or have a crystal ball to know what’s going to happen next but they are looking for hope and most importantly for truth!

Haydee: Tal what would you add to this?


I’d place building and maintaining trust during a crisis in these 3 stages – Communication leads ➤ to Respect ➤ Respect to Trust. Communication is essential – there cannot be too much information in this environment. Leaders need to respect their teams and then it’s explicit trust. However without motivation, inspiration, and a constant presence – trust gets lost quickly in the day by day, hour by hour frenetic energy!


There are 8 pillars of trust and the one I want to touch on is consistency, how consistent are you as a leader? Consistency builds trust – for example if you say you will be calling at a specific time; or be sending an email and you don’t do it – you’ve eroded the trust. With every interaction you either increase or decrease trust. Little by little it’s the small things that build up trust consistently.

Haydee: How do you build trust without knowing what’s ahead?


It’s fine to be a little vulnerable and say you don’t know what’s coming. Just be honest – the team will respect that you’re sharing what you know and just have a dialogue and discuss how that feels. In a time of uncertainty like this, we need to talk and share what our concerns are – understand what our team’s fears are and see how we can best address them.

Haydee: How would you balance ideas of building trust with transparency and also being flexible and pivoting with those we lead?


Difficult to do with new information changing hour by hour I think it goes back to dialogue and really understanding what people’s fears are at this time and just again being vulnerable and authentic in and sharing what you know, we don’t we really know what next week is going to look like and so we have to be prepared to pivot when we get new information and then communicate that information so that everyone on the team is comfortable with knowing why we’re doing what we’re doing, I think that’s all we can do right now.

Haydee – and communicating information instantly is key. So it’s not heard via the grapevine.

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