How to Cultivate Trust as a Coach

Trust means that since you consistently keep your word, others expect you will continue to do so in the future. When people trust you, they believe you. When they believe you, they listen to you. And when they listen to you, you are able to help them grow to their potential.

How to Cultivate Trust as a CoachIt’s essential teachers trust those that lead them. The steps listed below in the four categories will help cultivate trust with colleagues.


  • Build a connection– You must know the people with whom you will work with so spend the majority of your time in the beginning of the partnership building a professional connection
  • Meet where they are– As you understand who you are working with on a deeper level, you’ll be able to assess where they are in skill and emotional readiness to set expectations for where to begin your work together


  • Be transparent and honest – Say what you mean and mean what you say so that there is no guess work required
  • Take responsibility– When you make a mistake or hurt someone’s feelings, own up to it so you reliably take responsibility for your actions in the partnership


  • Be vulnerable and human– Open yourself up to your colleague through showing your human side and being vulnerable so that you’re more relatable; the connection deepens as commonalities are revealed
  • Give without returned expectation– Show you care through giving of your time and resources to help others without any expectation of the other person responding in kind


  • Commitment– Follow up with your colleague as necessary & follow through on your end of the bargain so that your commitment to success together is showcased on a continuous basis
  • Consistency – Use time to act as a track record for your behavior proving your trustworthiness in the partnership

Without trust, an effective and successful partnership cannot grow among colleagues. Trust can be rebuilt once broken. Follow the steps listed above in the four categories to initiate or rebuild trust.

If you feel like you’ve followed the steps above, and struggle to establish trust in your relationship with teachers, download this guide that shares “3 Tips for Getting Teachers to Work with You.”





How do you cultivate trust as a coach?

About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.