How to Reduce Stress and Build Trust in the Workplace


“No quality or characteristic is more important than trust.”

– Patrick Lencioni, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team


My business philosophy is:

  1. All of business is about relationships.
  1. Relationships are built on trust.
  1. Trust is built through effective communication.
  1. We communicate better when we understand others.
  1. Understanding behavior styles is a simple, key thing that caring managers and owners can do.

Trust is rare in business and there is plenty of data to support the fact that the absence of trust cost the business a LOT of money, creates a ton of stress, and is at the root of most frustrations on a team.

Since it is so rare, imagine what can happen on a team that has a high level of trust.

When there’s a breakdown in a relationship, there’s usually some kind of misunderstanding – some kind of communication break down.

The stronger your relationship with your staff, the more cooperation and production you get from them and the happier both of you are.

We don’t communicate because we don’t understand one another. We make assumptions based on the way we see the world through our own

Step one is to understand there are 4 different personality types. Understanding the personality profiles of your team will help you communicate with them better.

Human behavior expert Dr. Robert Rohm has an easy way to determine which style someone is. In fact, you can just ask them these questions to get a clue. Of course, you’ll want to go deeper later, but understanding someone’s behavior style helps you avoid conflict with them by communicating in their style rather than yours.

DISC-wheel1. If you had to choose whether you are OUTGOING or RESERVED, which one would you choose? If you are outgoing, your internal MOTOR feels like it’s revving up. You are very active. If you are reserved, your MOTOR is more like a consistent hum. Even if you feel like you are both, choose one. *10 to 20% of conflict comes from this difference.

2. If you had to choose whether you are TASK oriented or PEOPLE oriented, which one would you choose? In other words, is your natural tendency to work on tasks – to get things done – or to spend time with people? You may feel like you are both, but choose one. You aren’t locked in forever. You can change your mind later. In fact, there are validated assessments you can take that reveal your exact blend. There are 41 blends in all. *80% of conflict comes from this difference.

3. Now look at your combination: 

OUTGOING/TASK = D. This what is called the Dominant Style. You are direct and to the point. You like to be in charge and like to do things the fastest way. Your approach to people is “let’s see what you can do.” Your primary goal is RESULTS.

OUTGOING/PEOPLE = I. This is the Inspiring Style. You are fun loving, outgoing and friendly. You like to persuade others. You like to do things the fun you’re your approach to people is “let’s have fun”. Your primary goal is to have FUN no matter what you are doing.

RESERVED/PEOPLE = S. The Supportive Style loves people but they don’t need the limelight. You have a servant’s heart. You like to support and help others. Your approach to people is “let’s do something together”. Your primary goal is cooperation. You want everyone to get along.

RESERVED/TASK = C. The Cautious Style is very careful and exact. You like consistent quality and excellence. Your approach to people is “let’s do our own part”. Your primary goal is quality.

When we learn that every human being is wired a little differently, we begin to understand them. When we understand people, we can connect with them and that creates more trust.

One of the habits in the best-selling book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen R. Covey is “seek to understand before being understood”. This is a big challenge for owners and managers. Especially the Dominant Type.

“You can have everything in life you want, if you just help enough other people get what they want” – Zig Ziglar

Employees don’t trust you because you haven’t communicated openly with them. Their number one desire is to be “in on things”. When we keep information from them, it creates distrust.


Attend the DISC Advantage Workshop For Effective Workplace Partnerships Seminar September 18th & 19th in Houston

Owners and managers aren’t open with their employees because they don’t trust them. If you are waiting for them to take the first step, you’re   dreaming. YOU are the leader.

I was teaching about this at one of my conferences and one of the restaurant owners blurted out “don’t they have to earn my respect?”

The truth is that it’s actually the other way around. You have to earn theirs if you want a highly functional, trusting team.

People don’t follow those they don’t respect or trust. It’s that simple. Owners and managers fear being vulnerable, they will be trampled on by their employees. It’s actually the opposite if you do it right.

Attend the DISC Advantage Workshop For Effective Workplace Partnerships Seminar September 18th & 19th in Houston