From confidence to trust

Strength, trust and confidence are interrelated, whether in the personal or professional sphere. To gain trust, you need strengths and appearing confident helps being trusted. In short, people in your inner and professional circle will trust you if they believe they can rely on you and you can get things done. But gaining trust relies on social relations.  

To start with this broad topic, I wanted to focus on confidence, here understood as “self-confidence”.

(Self-)confidence and strengths

Confidence is different from being arrogant or stating you can do anything. Being confident means knowing your abilities (not just professional, also personal such as social and soft skills), but also what you are able to do to improve your weaknesses. In short, confidence is built on your strengths and self-awareness.

In a recruitment process, or in some social circumstances, you may lack confidence. Nobody is perfect and everyone has room for improvement. However, everyone has strengths. You have to identify them and remember that every event you consider as a “personal failure” is an opportunity to learn and grow. Challenging yourself with short or long-term goals and steps to get over your weaknesses or simply reinforce your strengths and learn new skills is an important part in strengthening confidence. You can volunteer or get involved in personal projects or circles to use your strengths and build your confidence. 

Now how to get trusted with confidence? Let’s start with the social part of it.

Relationship and trust

Trust is based on a relationship between people. No matter how confident and skilled you are, you cannot be trusted if you do not interact with people. Gaining trust consequently requires social interactions, with your colleagues, but not only. People in your inner circle may provide you with valuable feedback that you can also use in the professional place.

Building relationship with your colleagues does not mean becoming friends with them. You can separate work and personal spheres. It means showing interest in what they do and who they are, as well as learning from them or, the other way around, sharing knowledge with them. It goes beyond strictly working with them. Even if you disagree with their views or ways of doing, it implies respect towards them as well as accepting criticism and feedback from them. In short, trust is a two-way process: if you want to get trusted, you will have to respect and trust others.

Strengths and trust

Being confident is different from saying you can do anything or being arrogant. It is being aware of your strengths, using them, and seeing room for development with your weaknesses. There are different ways to use your strengths and confidence to gain trust in the work place. They are all based on social interactions in your professional sphere.

One important point is to ask for feedback from your colleagues, so that you can better identify where you are strong and where you have room for improvement. Feedback will help you growing and being trusted because people will see you are interested in what you do and potential for growth. To grow in a team and gain trust, you also have to trust your colleagues: to help you, to educate you, or to learn from their own experience, but also to collaborate with them on projects, split tasks between you and them or at a later stage in your career, to delegate to them. Another point is to identify what you can learn from your job and on which topics you may need to educate yourself to be more autonomous, skilled and independent in your tasks.

You can also volunteer at work for new tasks and projects, keeping in mind that you may need the assistance of your colleagues. All those points will help you showing you want to be involved and are ready to make additional efforts, what is an important point to gain trust. Becoming member of professional associations, volunteering to help them with events or in working groups,  attending events, discussing with professionals in your field and continuing learning will provide you with a visibility. People will feel you want to be involved. If they are happy with the way you interact support them, they may trust you and give you an opportunity. Opportunities are provided to people that can be trusted and trust from the others is built on social interactions.


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