Evangelia Leclaire

Studies reveal that one of the main reasons employees are dissatisfied at work is because of their relationship with their manager. While it is a manager’s responsibility to establish a positive and productive work environment built on trust, employees play a large part in building or breaking that. Rather than place the blame on the boss, we’ll explore how employees can impact working relationships.

Great working relationships are built on trust. In training and coaching employees, I help them become aware of the behaviors that build or break trust among management and teams. Now, if it seems like your boss doesn’t confide in you, it may be because of any of these six reasons.

1. You Don't Follow Through on Your Responsibilities

Somewhere down the line, you may have dropped the ball. Maybe you were given a deadline and didn’t follow through on your commitments. Perhaps you over promised and underdelivered. If you don’t know how to do the job, seek or ask for help; the alternative will reveal itself later in poor performance or sub par work. Whatever the circumstances, your lack of follow through on your responsibilities will break down your boss’s trust in you to handle future assignments. If you noticed that you’re being passed up on opportunities or not given as many responsibilities as your colleagues, it may just be because your boss no longer trusts in you to get the job done.

2. You Refuse To Accept Responsibility for Your Mistakes

Rather than make excuses or blame your circumstances on others, accept responsibility and accountability for your mishaps. Not taking responsibility for your actions will quickly make your teammates and boss lose trust in you. Admitting where you went wrong will help you earn trust and respect from your colleagues. You’ll set a good standard for your team to own up to their mistakes as well. They’ll relate to you for simply being human.

3. You Don't Get Along With Your Team

If you tear down your teammates rather than build them up, your boss will lose confidence in you. A manager prefers to have team members who lead and lift one another up. If you throw your colleagues under a bus and criticize their behaviors, then it will be difficult for your boss to see you as a leader. Even if you’re a top performer, this still stands.  You may think you’re doing your boss a favor by complaining about how your teammates aren’t pulling their weight, but that is far from the truth. Your boss is challenged with building and managing a team to perform and get along well. Rather than tear your teammates down, step up as a leader to help build your teammates up. You’ll earn major respect from your boss. 

4. You Complain Instead Of Finding Solutions

Rather than focus on all challenges in your job, seek solutions. If you’re constantly complaining, frustrated and pointing out problems, then your boss will lose trust in your ability to help the company make progress. All great companies go through their share of challenges and growing pains. Focus on the progress and help implement solutions. This will earn you the trust of your team and employer. You want your boss and teammates to see you as the victor who focuses on the gains, rather than the victim who focuses on the pain.

5. You lie

If you exaggerate or twist the truth, you will lose trust. Many employees think that by hiding the truth, they’re protecting themselves and others from potential negative consequences. If you make a mistake, own up to it and turn it into a learning opportunity. If you said something that offended somebody in your office, apologize. You will earn respect for being sincere, honest and human. When an employer has to puzzle together the pieces and investigate all sides of a scenario, it’s easy for them to lose the trust of employees who blatantly lie, exaggerate or hide the truth. Separate your feelings from the facts of the matter. 

6. You Cause Office Drama

Gossip, negativity and drama are distracting to the business. If you’re participating in office drama, whether it’s escalated to your manager or not, it creates a ripple effect and impacts office culture. The last thing a busy boss wants to deal with is drama. When drama brews, the best thing to do is to mind your own business or try to nip it in the bud.

An employee who has good character and consistently demonstrates competence will build trust. This happens over time. Although it’s tough to mend trust that’s broken, take these as lessons learned and try to tip back the scale to earn back your boss’s trust.


Evangelia is an expert career coach at The Muse and founder of Career Ready Set Rock an independent consultancy for millennial women, moms and moms-to-be who want to make more moves, money and meaning in their lives and careers. Although Evangelia swears by strengths assessments and action plans, at heart she believes that the greatest life blessings and lessons come from being present, surrendering and having faith.