How Relationships Built on Trust Make a Positive Difference

If a relationship is not built on trust, can that relationship last in business?

Perhaps yes for a period of time. Often though, these types of relationships waiver or fail when conditions change. Conversely, business relationships built on trust and mutual respect can thrive through some of the most difficult times. Consider some of the characteristics of trust-based relationships:

  • Each side can say what must be said: “My costs are increasing and we need to raise prices”, or “I cannot pay that much due to my limited budget”
  • Each party is vulnerable to the other: Our staffing issues are slowing our response times or frank comments on the lack of helpfulness of some end-user staff
  • Respect is evident in all communications: even when there are problems and emotions involved
  • Each party gives the other the benefit of the doubt: My history with the other party says that they will come through for us or they will send that order to us
  • Each party is willing to take risks with the other: Be that trying new technologies or looking at different paths to tackle reoccurring problems
  • Each party communicates freely and frequently: The channels for sharing information are always open
  • Trust-based business relationships cut through perceptions; they deal with facts and reality

At M3T Corporation, we like to believe we center our customer relationships on trust; we think we walk the walk described above every day, in all we do. Our customers reward us when they to feel this way by continuing to trust us to conduct security risk mitigation work in their facilities. Sometimes we have failed to carry through in one or more of the behaviors that strengthen trust. We have not used the communication channels promptly and thoroughly keeping our clients informed of work at their sites. This is the #1 issue we have internally at M3T that needs to be improved. We are aware of and work hard on this every week as a Management Team promoting and encouraging communication behaviors across the team.

We would love to hear from you. Send us your comments and stories on how you maintain trust-based business relationships at

John Maffey, CPP, PSP