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Tip 152: Phrases that Help Build Trust with Direct Reports





Trust is not one of those mysterious, elusive, intangible traits that you either have or you don’t. It is hard-edged and pragmatic skill that can be learned. Everyone can build trust, regardless of their propensity to trust. The key is to start small – bit by bit, one conversation at a time, over time. Consider the phrases below to help get you started.

1. “I’ve noticed a change.”

Use it when a typical behavior or pattern suddenly or slowly has become different.


2. “Thank you for letting me know.”

Use it whenever someone shares bad news or is critical with you.

3. “I want to check in.”

Use it to follow up on a previously discussed issue.

4. “What do you think?”

Use it to invite someone to open-up with their point of view, and when you want input.

5. “I’ve been there, too.”

Use it to help a team member understand that you’ve faced similar struggles.

6. “Let me share what I know and don’t know at this point.”

Use it when you are conveying information relevant to your team’s work and wellbeing.

7. “How can I help you make progress?”

Use it when you’re genuinely interested in helping a direct report succeed.

8. “I need your help.”

Use it when you genuinely need support or feedback.

9. “This is a challenge for all of us.”

Use it when you team faces a tough task or organizational change.

10. “That’s my mistake.”

Use it to admit a mistake or error in judgment.

For additional tips on how to build trust with your manager, view the article:


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