5 Factors of Trust

March 31, 2023
Written by
Brian Sepe

5 Factors of Trust

June 14, 2024
March 31, 2023
Written by
Brian Sepe
"If there isn't trust, you are not going to have a better conversation." - Jim Knight Better Conversations

Trust is at the center of thriving learning cultures. Trust is essential for school systems to function effectively, work towards a common goal, and pursue meaningful improvements and continued growth that have a positive impact on the lives of students'.

In Better Conversations, Jim Knight shares five factors for building trust and three forms we can use to reflect and set intentions for building and sustaining trusting relationships.

5 Factors that Influence Trust

  1. Character: We trust someone when we know they won't do us harm.
  2. Reliability: People trust us when we do what we said we would do when we said we would do it.
  3. Competence: We can increase our competence by developing skills, gaining knowledge, or being credible.
  4. Warmth: We can show warmth in the authentic way we listen, demonstrate empathy, share positive information, and be vulnerable.
  5. Stewardship: Stewardship is embodied in a genuine focus on others, the way we communicate, the way we give credit to others, and the simple fact that we care.

3 Forms for Reflection and Growth

To get better at building trust, it can help to clarify our thoughts and understandings of what we and others mean by trust as a starting point. It also helps if we can identify our own strengths and make plans to target new areas for growth.

Building Trust - Looking Back:

Use this form to help you consider trust in your life by writing about trustworthy and untrustworthy people you have known and by prompting you to make decisions about how you can become more trustworthy.

Download this form

Building Trust - Looking At:

Use this form to help you analyze trust and the absence of trust when you experience them. The form is to be used as you watch a movie or show or read a book.

Download this form
Building Trust - Looking Ahead:

Us this form to implement the factors that influence trust - character, competence, reliability,, warmth, and stewardship.

Download this form

Like many of the other reflection forms in our resources and books, these form can be used by one person alone or with a group, but it is especially interesting to use with a group.

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