Building your Trust Bank in a New Role

FAULHABER has hired a LOT of new staff last year, and a common question we are asked is what they can do to be successful in the role. In addition to the work itself, there is a term we use often at FAULHABER that applies to every position, regardless of if you’re a trainee or a director – Trust Bank.

Trust Bank is a concept formed by Tim Clairmont. He describes it below in an article on Forbes:

So, how do you engender trust? How do you form it in the beginning? How do you keep it once you have it? How do you get it back once it has been damaged or completely lost? All of these answers come back to making deposits and not taking withdrawals from the trust bank.

Every time you make a promise — any promise — you make a contract that will result in either a deposit or a withdrawal in the trust bank. If you follow through and do what you said you would do when you said you would do it, then that contract results in a deposit in the trust bank. When you fail to do what you said you would do and/or fail to do it when you said you would do it, then that contract converts into a withdrawal from the trust bank.

When you have made several deposits in the trust bank with any of your relationships, you will start to reap the benefits of a trusting relationship. Decisions come more easily. Relationships get a bit more relaxed. People get more vulnerable and ultimately create deeper, more meaningful relationships. All good things come from building more and more trust.

On the contrary, when you take withdrawals from the trust bank, you become known as someone who cannot be trusted. People expect you not to do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. This carries the consequence of people choosing not to work with you, or being more guarded and cautious when they do work with you.

Read more about Trust Bank on Forbes here.

The Trust Bank is a never-ending concept throughout your career, but is especially important when you’re starting a new role. As Tim Clairmont mentions, “When you have made several deposits in the trust bank with any of your relationships, you will start to reap the benefits of a trusting relationship.” Building your Trust Bank at the start of a new position will help you succeed – faster. Here are some easy ways to make “deposits” in your bank when you start your new job, or if you’re looking to build more trust in your current role. 

  • Check in with your manager at the start and end of day. If you don’t have existing touch bases at these times, a note at the start and end of the day is an easy way to let your manager know that you’re on top of your tasks. This is especially important if you’re working remotely and in a new position – it lets your manager know that they can trust you are working your hours. A simple email or message on your team’s intranet confirming what you’re tackling that day and a status update at the end goes a long way!
  • Be responsive. This is a big one, and also helps with balance – hear me out! In my experience, one of the easiest ways to build OR lose trust is your responsiveness. Thanks to modern technology, this is so easy! We are a big supporter of taking breaks away from your desk, but sometimes people can feel anxious about leaving their desk mid-day if there is a lot going on. This is where having email and whatever your company’s intranet is on your phone is a huge help. Personally, I love that I can go for a walk or do a Starbucks run, but still reply in real time if something important comes through – maintaining my trust bank. Especially in the virtual realm, taking hours to reply to a new team will be noticed. 
  • Offer to help. Our trainee team works a strict 9am to 5pm, but one piece of advice I always give them is to ask the team if there is anything they need help with before they leave. 9/10 times the answer is no, BUT the team ALWAYS remembers and sends great feedback on trainees that do this. It shows that you are attentive to a team environment. If you have a prior commitment but see the team working hard on something past 5pm, let them know that you can’t help in the moment but could the following day. This shows both emotional intelligence and that you’re a team player. It is ALWAYS noticed!
  • Ask for feedback. Seeking out feedback can be uncomfortable first, but in the end it makes feedback not as scary a concept! It will show your managers that you want to improve and make sure that you’re meeting expectations. Simply asking the question creates a Trust Bank deposit!
  • Share your ideas. There is nothing worse than silence in a brainstorm! Don’t be afraid to speak up in a new role, if not in the moment then send a quick note when you can with your ideas. Being relied upon for contributing to the team is a great way to continuously build your Trust Bank. 
  • Be positive. We all want to work with positive people – it rubs off! Having a positive attitude even through the challenging times, whether it is a difficult situation or big deadline, goes a long way. If your team knows that you can stay positive, they will trust you more with new opportunities.

We hope these tips help you kickstart building your Trust Bank, and that you maintain this concept throughout your career!