10 Tricks to Find Out Who to Trust at Work

Jan 30, 2019

Being able to trust your coworkers is essential in order to create a healthy work environment. Knowing that your colleagues are there to help you out in a crisis and that they will not betray your confidence will make your professional life go a lot smoother.

Unfortunately, not every colleague can be trusted with a secret, and the following ten tricks will help you identify those that are less than trustworthy. It is not easy to find a coworker you can trust, but there is always a chance.

1 Start small

If you have just started in a new job or a new member has joined your team, never reveal too much about yourself until you are completely sure about who you can trust. If you happen to mention to someone that you are thinking of changing jobs and they take the information back to your boss, it could create an extremely uncomfortable working environment for you.

2 Pay attention to office gossips

If your colleague is constantly gossiping to you about your managers, coworkers, and friends, then rest assured that they are also speaking about you behind your back. Office gossips are a part of working life and are usually harmless. However, if you find yourself on the receiving end of some malicious gossip, it could make your working life unbearable.

3 Do your research

Before trusting someone at work with an important job or valuable piece of information, make sure they do not have a history of letting people down. If a person has a reputation as being unreliable, then there is probably a valid reason why.

4 Never reveal too much

Avoid telling people more than you have to. Keep details about your private life to yourself, and never criticize your bosses or coworkers to other people in your company. If you discover that one of your coworkers has broken your trust, it will be much less damaging if they do not have lots of personal information about you.

5 Save your rants for family and friends

We all need to let off steam from time to time, but words said in anger can come back to haunt you if you are not careful. You may feel like quitting your job after a particularly difficult day, but you do not ever want that information to get back to your boss.

6 Observe coworkers interactions with others

You can learn everything you need to know by simply sitting back and observing the interactions of your coworkers. If you notice that most of your colleagues tend to approach the same person for help and advice, then this is a sure sign that the person is worthy of your trust.

7 Remember those who help you through tough times

If someone at your job helped you through a particularly difficult phase, then remember to show your gratitude and offer to return the favor as soon as possible. Helping others through difficulties is a great way to strengthen your friendship and build stronger connections.

8 Identify those who talk from those that actually do

A colleague that likes to constantly brag about their previous achievements but never seems to actually do anything is usually suffering from some type of insecurity. While this does not make them untrustworthy, it may signal that they are competitive and might try to get one over on you.

9 Look for people who genuinely want to help their coworkers

Some people are natural mentors that genuinely want to see their coworkers succeed. You may notice that a particular person in your office is always ready to lend a hand with new projects or offer a shoulder to cry on when things get tough. Those that put others before themselves are often the most trustworthy.

10 Watch for tell-tale signs of dishonesty

People who dig for information or try to engage you in gossip are usually the ones that will go behind your back and repeat anything you tell them. Avoid those who seem more interested in office politics than creating a harmonious work environment.

If you discover that someone at work has broken your trust, it can leave you reluctant to put your trust in other coworkers. Building solid relationships with your coworkers is essential as you will need to cooperate with them on a daily basis. Just be sure to work out exactly who you can trust before sharing any valuable information with your coworkers.