The Business of Trust

The article below is for leaders who like to use data to inform their people development decisions.

8 Reasons Why Organizations Must Be Thinking about Trust

Both Will and I, as co-founders, believe in the power of trust. Leaders call us when a lack of trust is getting in the way of results in their organization. From working with our clients, we’ve also discovered one of the best ways to accelerate building relationships of trust is to equip people with the skills to ask powerful questions. Don’t take our word for it though! Enjoy the data below.


There is a trust gap

Only 49% of full-time workers say that they had “a great deal of trust” in those working above and alongside them (Harvard Business Review). Asking powerful questions offers a concrete strategy for leaders and employees to measurably increase that trust.

Trust creates shortcuts for better communication

Knowledge of the personal backgrounds of others can lead to shortcuts for effective communication (Bransford, et al., 2006).
Following our curiosity, connecting with people, asking questions, and listening to understand all allow us to delve into people’s backgrounds that would otherwise stay hidden.

Trust reduces prejudice and implicit bias

Increasing intergroup contact can reduce the prejudice observed toward out-group members (Dhont, et. al., 2011).
If two groups or teams need to work together, fostering more social contact between groups is one way to increase relatedness and decrease a sense of threat. Ask Powerful Questions is a how-to guide to replace judgement with empathy which reduces prejudice.


Trust fosters a happy workplace

70% of people state that having friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life (Officevibe).
People like people who listen and ask questions, thus opening the pathway to friendship.


Trust builds higher bottom line returns

Leaders see 47% higher returns in companies that have effective communication! (Towers Wastson, 2010).
Great questions have the power to shatter assumptions and build a culture of effective communication which ultimately saves time and increases productivity.


Trust boosts engagement

68% of employees are disengaged and disconnected at work (Gallup).
When leaders ask questions rather than dish out marching orders, employees become connected to each other and engaged in the process.


Trust increases employee retention

Connected and engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organization and turnover costs can be as high as 100-300% of an employee’s base salary (Gallup).
If you really want someone to stay with the company, ask them great, honest, and hard questions about their role, their hopes for their career, growth opportunities they are seeking, etc.


Lastly, trust can help you build the perfect team.

Google’s quest to build the perfect team uncovered that the #1 indicator of a high-performing, innovative team is the psychological safety and trust that develop solely through social connections (NY Times and Google’s Project Aristotle).

Want to create a culture of trust at work? Check our new book, authored by Will Wise, called

Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations that Matter.  

Ask Powerful Questions book by Will Wise

– OR –

Explore the possibility of hiring Chad Littlefield and/or Will Wise to come lead a workshop or keynote on the Ask Powerful Questions toolkit by connecting with us below.

If you have a question, connect with us.

We’ll respond within 48 hours.

Chad Littlefield and Will Wise Founders of We!
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