Data Driven Proof of the Critical Importance of Asking For Feedback: Build Trust at Work, Part 1

Ever experienced doubt about the level of trust you’ve built at work?

Do you wonder where you stand? Not just with your boss, but with other key people?

Unsettling, isn’t it?

You’re not alone.

Six months ago, I worked with a VP of Operations. He was a gifted strategist; truly skilled at the mechanics of his job. Yet he was uneasy. He had a new leader, and was struggling to establish trust in their relationship.

In our very first meeting he opened up to me about his internal ‘wrestle’ with his new boss. This is how he saw things:

“Things are going all right. I mean, he’s made his expectations clear. But I still don’t know where I stand with him. I can’t seem to get a handle on how much he trusts my judgment.”

Sound familiar?

You may have found yourself in the same frustrating position as this VP. But take heart. You can get a handle on where you stand. You can be proactive in earning the trust you need, want, and deserve.

There’s a surprisingly simple way to start building that trust.


I have collected statistically significant data from the last 540+ leaders and 120+ teams whose trustworthiness I have been asked to assess.

This is what the data reveals:

Providing coaching and feedback on performance when needed is critical to building trust in a relationship.


It’s the #1 trust-related behavior leaders are least likely to practice with their employees.

What’s more?

Giving feedback on performance is among the top 3 trust-related behaviors team members are least likely to practice with one another.

Why does this data deserve your attention?

Because it offers you two key insights.

#1: Constructive feedback is not going to fall in your lap.

You’ve got to go after the honest feedback you need.

Ask for it.

Give yourself the gift of knowing how people really experience you. You’ll gain actionable insight.

Not sure how to go about it? It’s not as hard as you think. Here’s how you start:

Make a list.

Who are the people you work with you’d like to receive honest feedback from? Identify 3-4 specific people whose opinions and perceptions you’d find most valuable to hear.

Go ahead. Make that list right now.

…….who’s the first person you’d ask? 

………and the second?



Have your list? Perfect.

Now, go to them and ask for the feedback you want and need. Not in writing, but face to face.

Why go and ask for it? That brings us to key insight #2.

#2: There’s a compelling reason people won’t offer unsolicited feedback.

…it’s because they don’t know how.

This is what I have learned in my 25 years of experience serving more than one million people at all levels of responsibility in organizations around the world

Face to face, they simply don’t know how.

Sure, on paper, people know how to give feedback. They do in theory. But when it comes right down to it – when the rubber meets the road – people have never been shown how to offer feedback in a way that builds – instead of erodes – trust in their relationships.

They’re worried they’ll hurt others’ feelings.

They aren’t sure of the best words to use.

So they hesitate. They keep their feedback to themselves.

Even when that feedback they’re sitting on could help take your relationship – your collaboration – to the next level.

Here’s the good news.

Trust begins with you.

You don’t have to wait on other people to learn to get comfortable giving the gift of feedback.

You can take that first step for them.

ASK for the feedback you need.

I’m about to give you the Trust Tip you need to do this.

It’s just the first of more than a dozen Trust Tips I have for you during the next several weeks, during my #TrustIn16weeks campaign.

I am on a mission to transform workplaces through trust and need your help.

If you find this Tip valuable, please share it.

Send a tweet, share this post, pass it along in an email.

Truly — I’d love for you to leave a comment, either here, or wherever you come across this post.

I am committed to giving you the content about trust you most want and need to know.

And I love feedback.

This post, in fact, was inspired by a powerful piece of feedback offered by dear friend and reader Roland Livingston.

Back to the Trust Tip.

When you click the clink below, you’ll see a pop-up window, asking you to sign up to get the Tip.

When you sign up, you’ll get the Tip.

And you’ll be on the list to receive all future Tips – as well as a wealth of other quick, practical, trust building resources.

These all automatically go to the people on my list.

I hope you’ll become one of them.

I promise you real value. Trust me.

Get your How to Ask for Constructive Feedback Trust Tip now.

Yours in trust,

Dennis Reina, PhD


Posted in Leadership, Relationships, Transformation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .