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The Number One Reason People Don't Open Up

Updated: May 17, 2021

Let’s talk about the number one reason people don’t open up. People don't reach out or speak to other people because of trust or a lack of trust. Trust is the number one factor in relationships.

They will worry -

their feelings will be dismissed,

no one will believe them,

that they will seem stupid,

they will be excluded or treated differently or

that the person will tell other people and break confidence

If you have people in your workplace that other people do not trust, this will lead to a toxic work culture. People will not speak to them. I used to have to say to people, in work, ‘I cannot stop you from drowning. If I do not know you're in the pool’, that's inviting people to speak to you and my whole intention was that I thought, I need to find a way to help this person speak to me.

I knew that if they don't trust me, they're not going to come to me and they're not going to talk to me about the things that are going on with them. Also if every time I have a one-to-one with them, it becomes about numbers and about figures, about success or results rather than the individual and the individual's motivations, then they're not going to trust me because they don't feel like I care. They will think that I'm not valuing them as a holistic individual that's in front of me. I agree this hasn't been the traditional level of leadership that we've known within the workplace, but times are changing, times are changing very quickly.

Artificial Intelligence a lot of the time or the software and tools will tell us the metrics, people make numbers, numbers don’t make people. So, ask yourself, what is going on with the people? That's what we need to figure out because then we can start to look at the data. Data only tells one side to the story and I am known to love a good statistic. I absolutely love it, but I understand where it comes from. And I understand that it can also be damaging as well as strengthening in a business or in a relationship. So be mindful of that.

If you have done something to break a relationship or given people a reason to not trust you as a leader then it’s time to have an honest conversation. To draw a line and make genuine improvements. It is going to take some humility and you as the leader will have to take the lead and find the courage to do that. I suggest that the intention of the conversation should be ‘how do we fix this?’. With FIX being the important word here.


The Modern Mind Group are emotioneering human performance not engineering it.

As a learning and performance consultancy, we work with your business to identify and improve performance gaps so that you can be more profitable and professionally develop your people. Over 10 years of expertise in learning and performance with results to back it all up. Why settle for the average when there is a world of possibility when you know how to achieve it? Untapped potential - Let's go get it!


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