How to get your boss to trust you

If you’ve got your sights set on developing a great working relationship with your boss and all the benefits this brings with it – e.g., the opportunity to work on the most interesting projects and lots of scope for independent work – it’s essential that your boss trusts you. For tips on how to gain trust from your line manager specifically, please read some great tips published by The Reader’s Digest or skip straight to our summary of the highlights below.


  1. Make sure that you and your boss are on the same page regarding your role, responsibilities and priorities. Your job description is a good starting point for this discussion, often revealing discrepancies that might be preventing your boss from trusting you.
  2. Co-develop quantifiable, action-oriented (rather than outcome-oriented) goals with your boss, to be achieved within a specific time frame. The goal of making five more sales calls per week is much easier to achieve than a vague intention to ‘increase sales.’ You can then easily share regular news of your success with your boss, which promotes trust.
  3. Present solutions, not problems. When you flag up an issue, your boss will appreciate it if you’ve already researched potential solutions and have a well-considered argument for one option in particular. Do so regularly so you can nip emerging issues in the bud rather than springing a major problem on your boss when things have spiralled out of control. You can take this approach a step further by brainstorming possible problems with your boss before embarking on a project, and taking preemptive actions accordingly.
  4. Don’t play the blame game or attempt to cover up your mistakes. Trust is based on honesty so come clean about your errors, before outlining your proposed solution and the reasons behind your choice. Don’t become risk-averse in the process. Keep asking for challenging projects but avoid making the same mistake twice!
  5. Tune into your boss’s language and learn to speak it. Remain authentic but, if your boss is a numbers person and you’re a big ideas person, adjust your language accordingly to promote understanding and trust. Arguably, mimicking your boss’s body language has the same effect. On a similar note, be aware of your boss’s emotions. Demonstrating that you understand when he or she is feeling stressed – and offering your support to help alleviate it – is a great way to promote trust.
  6. When you disagree with a decision your boss is making, enquire about his or her reasoning. Often, your boss will be happy to get a second opinion. And they’ll respect you for not following them blindly into what you may have cause to believe is a mistake. That said, once a decision has been made, respect it and give your all in helping to execute all the related tasks. This is crucial to building trust.
  7. Don’t gossip about or criticise your boss (or others) behind their back. There’s no surer way to undermine trust.


And that’s it – full disclosure on how to get your boss to trust you! If none of the above tips seem to work, it might be time to consider changing teams or companies. In the latter case, please get in touch with ABL Recruitment, the nation’s number one multilingual recruitment agency. With over 30 years of experience in the field, and longstanding relationships with over 400 leading companies worldwide, we’re in the strongest of positions to help. Please give us a call on +44 (0)20 7092 3939 or email us at to brainstorm the options.