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Trust – What Does It Take?


I regularly have a blood test and I’ve never thought twice about offering my arm to the nurse who swabs the area, finds a vein, inserts a needle and draws three tubes of the red stuff. She’s always respectful, professional and competent, friendly too. In Australia, UK and USA, nurses top the list of trusted professionals, year after year. How have they earned our trust so completely? What are the behaviours and skills we can learn from them and apply in mentoring – and for that matter other relationships. Today’s article explores these issues and my next Mentor Master Class webinar offers practical actions for mentors.


What is it that allows us to trust someone?


The Roy Morgan organisation surveys Australians level of trust in various professions each year using ethics and honesty as the rating. Nurses have topped the list for the last 23 years. It is no wonder that we:


  • Listen to and believe what they say
  • Have faith that they act in our best interests
  • Base our health decisions on our conversations with them


Why do people place their trust in nurses? The Morgan survey asks people to rate professions on the basis of ethics and honesty and all the health professions rank at the top, but it seems to be the caring, personal relationship nurses have with patients that puts them way out front.

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Think about the last time you or a loved one were in hospital, the nurses were always there, day and night administering what was required – the cannula, medicine, checks on blood pressure etc. but also caring. They explain what’s going on and make you comfortable. They are capable, efficient, professional but always with a human touch. They don’t judge, they respect and support you. Yes, much of it is learned in training but a lot is due to the person, their values and commitment to people.


What if mentors could develop relationships with that level of trust?


Trust is not something you have or you don’t; it is the result of behaviour. You demonstrate that you are trustworthy or your words and actions create doubt or outright cynicism. You can choose behaviours and develop skills that enable people to trust you and it is in everybody’s interest that you do.


Trust in the workplace has been shown to increase:


  • Productivity
  • Energy
  • Collaboration
  • Retention
  • Performance and
  • Reduce chronic stress



Trust is a result of both emotional and rational reactions. It is a culmination of


Credibility – I can believe in you

Reliability – I can count on you

Mutuality – you and I benefit

Reciprocity – you trust me



In a world where we have an epidemic of distrust of those in power, it’s never been more important to have faith in the people we confide in. Skilled mentors establish credibility, they are reliable, there for mutual benefit and they trust their mentee.


Mentor Master Class 2. Build Trust


Every relationship depends on trust. It doesn’t matter whether it is spouses or colleagues, a family or a team, the level of trust strongly influences success.

Join me for this interactive master class where we’ll explore:


  1. Cost/benefits of trust
  2. Behaviours and skills to build trust
  3. Brain science for better relationships


Master Class 2 Build Trust is live at 10.00 AEDT (Sydney, Australia) Friday 9 March 2018. Register now


Australia is up to 14 hours ahead of some parts of the world. It may still be Thursday where you are so click “show in my time zone” on the registration page.


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About Ann Rolfe

Ann Rolfe is internationally recognised as Australia's leading specialist in mentoring, and is available for speaking, training and consulting. Here Ann shares her knowledge and allows you to ask your most pressing questions about mentoring.

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