3 Keys to Build More Trust for High Performing Start-Ups


Apr 15, 2024By Rachael O'Meara

By Rachael O’Meara, Managing Partner, Leadership Development Expert

How is your team doing - whether it’s a founding team, a sales team, or a leadership team - at building trust these days?

After spending thirteen years in sales at Google and over 25 years in the tech industry, I can confidently say that trust is the cornerstone of success. Whether it's with your team, boss, or clients and prospects, generating trust opens doors and leads to more fruitful relationships.

One of the key aspects of creating trust, is to build your EQ, or emotional intelligence, so that you can help others feel more safe to share honestly, openly, and have difficult conversations. This is known as psychological safety (see this great HRB article by Amy Gallo). If this isn’t happening, chances are you as a leader may have something to do with it.

The good news is that EQ is a leadership skill that all of us can strengthen so that you can trust others, generate rapport, and create the safety required for both.

Building trust is key in sales and teamwork. As the saying goes, "people buy from people." If you want sales success, establishing rapport with decision makers is crucial. The same goes for your team - trust is an essential foundation.

Ways to Build Trust 

1) Set goals together. By working towards a common objective, you create a sense of unity and cooperation. Supporting each other along the way is vital to meeting those goals. This can take the shape of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), Quarterly metrics and what to do / not do differently to improve or make these happen, or discusions on what together can be done to improve processes and how the business is going.

2) Be genuine and authentic. Put yourself in their shoes and ask, "How can I show up in a way that builds trust?" Sometimes, it can be as simple as expressing gratitude, checking in with a phone call, or offering support and assistance. It may look like sharing more vulnerably about what is happening for you, without any blame, shame or justification.

3) Be transparent and have values-driven practices. Share what is happening behind the scenes in your life, professionally or personally. Have company values that are shared and agreed upon which can help build trust among employees and what's expected. Being transparent helps everyone know what's expected and can generate trust. 

If you're interested to build or generate trust in your life sciences related company or venture, we can help. Join us at an upcoming office-hours so we can learn more about you, or reach out and connect with me on LinkedIn messaging "trust" and I'll follow up directly with next steps.