How to Lose Trust Without Even Trying

Sometimes the best way to learn how to be is to learn how NOT to be. Here is a list of all the ways one can lose, or never earn, the trust of others. Perhaps discuss this list with the older children in your life or your coworkers/employees. Do you agree with this list? What would you add?


1. Act nice only when you need something.
2. Base decisions on bad or incomplete information.
3. Fake an answer rather than admitting you don’t know.
4. Claim to be an expert in everything.
5. Fail to stand behind your product.
6. Tell two people two different stories.
7. Make self-serving recommendations.
8. Fail to follow up promptly.
9. Make careless mistakes or errors.
10. Show lack of care and concern.
11. Overpromise and underdeliver.
12. Bury information in the fine print.
13. Spin the truth.
14. Adopt a messy physical appearance.
15. Offer each customer a different price.
16. Love you before a sale; leave you afterward.
17. Recommend more than needed.
18. Show up late or miss deadlines.
19. Sell what you have –– not what’s needed.
20. Be inaccessible.
21. Speak in jargon.
22. Make excuses rather than accept responsibility.
23. Fail to fix a problem, promptly.
24. Disparage the competition or bad-mouth your own organization.
25. Compromise your principles and values.
26. Waffle on decisions.
27. Pass the buck.
28. Say one thing, do another.
29. Leave out important details.
30. Exaggerate or cry wolf.
31. Fail to present both sides of an issue.
32. Present boilerplate solutions to unique problems.
33. Expect others to do what you wouldn’t do.
34. Show favoritism, strong bias, or prejudice.
35. Bully someone “smaller” than you.
36. Let someone learn about a problem through the grapevine.
37. Accept credit even though it’s undeserved.
38. Misunderstand the needs of your audience.
39. Plagiarize.
40. Fail to answer questions clearly.
41. Make rules, but don’t follow them.
42. Cast blame at the first sign of a problem.
43. Sweep problems under the rug.
44. Play politics rather than doing what’s right.
45. Be inconsistent, unreliable, or unpredictable.
46. Run from tough decisions.
47. Change the terms of an agreed-upon deal.
48. Jump to a conclusion before knowing the facts.
49. Have an ulterior motive.
50. Hand in unfinished work as complete.


Thank you for PACE Partner KiDDS Dental for providing this resource.


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