Trust in Profession- Often Misunderstood?

21-03-2022 CA Madhukar N Hiregange



Leaders need to be trusted by their clients, partners, colleagues, employees for organisations to grow effectively with velocity. In partnerships, cooperative ventures, collaboration with other professionals, managers trust necessary in the organisation to achieve the common goal or benefit.

In recent times, having had heard that trust issues (deficit) are increasing in the profession, probably due to the disconnect which was inevitable due to the pandemic in not allowing many of us to interact freely and frequently. These issues unfortunately can lead to disassociation or dissatisfaction in the workplace. The result is less growth, profitability etc.

We all understand that when we trust someone, we put ourselves in that person’s hands, believe in their truthfulness and loyalty. There is an underlying assurance that one would not be betrayed. We have seen the benefits of trusting in growing the organisation. Trust begets trust is also an experience repeated several times in my life. Delegation a very powerful responsibility and accountability building methods is a form of trust. We have also observed that if one delegates properly and provides space (authority also), the results are amazing- far beyond imagination.

There are some general saying which may not be true: one can either trust or not, it is either 100% trust or not at all. Now we understand these are not factually correct.

We can understand “trust” by its components:

  • delivering on promises [walking the talk consistently]
  • providing fair compensation to partners, employees, collaborators,
  • transparent communication with all stakeholders,
  • operating ethically [ minimum follow the code of conduct of the regulator] in word and spirit as is the current global trend]
  • providing equal opportunity and
  • leadership accepting mistakes as soon as possible.

I for one had a much narrower view of what trust meant before this study.

Rain Check on Status:

We can start with examining where all the required level of trust in dozens of activities already exist in place as on date. This would validate that we are more or less trustworthy.

Examine areas where its lack, has been felt and take steps to correct those areas.

The understanding I have is that trust is not normally 100% - [I may be wrong] It is a % age and can increase of decrease depending on conduct of people working together. Even in many joint families, the lack becomes apparent in the silence of some and in differential tones in communication. The number of family partitions increasing also indicates this trend.

How to Improve Trust?

  1. Proactive relationship- Keep in touch physically to the extent possible. Use video conferencing as an alternative. There is an old saying- out of sight out of mind. Keeping a structure to interact regularly ensures that differences and distances are not causing one to distrust each other.
  2. Expertise and good judgement are imperative for professionals to build trust. Authoring articles, presenting papers & writing books are some of the ways of improving the trust factor. Clearly stating out of expertise areas is something we have practiced for some time.
  3. Consistent quality, delivered beyond expectation, would build trust among the clients. The commitment and use of technical standards, standard operating processes and checklists would improve the quality as well as the consistency of the deliverables. In today’s world adding skills and qualifications would increase the confidence in a professional.
  4. Being vulnerable in admitting one’s errors openly can have also touch the heart which last much longer. Making amends by doing something without a fee would be even better.
  5. Continuously keeping employees in the loop on all aspects concerning them would be helpful to remove many uncertainties.


The above collation on the less discussed concept of “trust” is hoped to be useful means to understand the improve this vital characteristic.