5 Questions CEOs Can Ask To Gain Trust

Gaining trust amongst your people as a CEO or leader is extremely important. The Edelman Trust Barometer shows that CEO trust in 2021 is at an all time low. Although people will work for a leader they don’t trust if they need a job, if they do trust you then the performance and loyalty can be endless.

Here are five coaching questions you can ask your people to initiate trust and build rapport.


1 It sounds like you’re having a challenging time. What can I do to support you?


This shows empathy and also a willingness to work with your team/ leader to support them.


2. What needs to happen that is not happening now and how do we work as a team to facilitate this?


This question pushes your team member’s mind towards problem-solving, and the solution focus, and shows that you are working together as a collaborative unit.


3. What’s really important to you right now?


In a work situation, your employee or team member might ask “what do you mean? Important about me, important about the job, important about what? Keep the question really open. Ask them to talk about whatever springs to mind it’s most important to them at that moment. Of course, this might change depending on the situation but it really shows complete openness that you care about them holistically, want to create solutions and understand more about whichever area in their life is affecting them or their performance.


4. What is the one thing that we can do to move one step forward?


Sometimes especially when there is a huge amount of responsibility and the task and seem too big it can be good to break it down into smaller steps. This also shows that you have the ability to go into detail as well as look at the big picture. Following up with a collaborative approach and a solution-focused conversation really helps.

5. What can I do differently to help you and your team members excel?


One of the most important parts of being a really great CEO is the ability to listen carefully and work with your team members on your own improvement. This gives you an ideal opportunity to take some constructive feedback. Remember, this is your chance to gain valuable information. Sometimes they might not want to talk about this especially in certain cultures. However, it’s important to give your team member the time and space to think. Then encourage them to come back with areas where they could see how, as a team, you can help them improve further while improving yourself.


All of the above will help develop trust, collaboration, honesty, and helps with feedback for everyone involved. Creating a feedback loop for everyone resulting in stronger cohesive teams.


For more information visit the Edelman Trust Barometer a global trust survey.


Caroline Langston is the Co-Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an Executive, Personal and Career Development Coaching company in Hong Kong and New York. She is also the Founder of recruitersgiveback.org a nonprofit providing free information and coaching to people who are unemployed. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. She is degree qualified with a Certificate in Professional Coaching Mastery from the ICF, Certificate in Team Coaching from the EMCC. Also further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level. www.successCL.com www.recruitersgiveback.org

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