13 Books on Building Trust to Read

By: | Updated: July 03, 2023

Here is our list of the best books on building trust.

Books on building trust are insightful guides you can read to build trust in your relationships at work and in your personal life. These books often contain tips to develop long-lasting trust and ways to regain broken trust. Examples include The Thin Book of Trust by Charles Feltman, The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey, and Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace by Dennis Reina and Michelle Reina. The purpose of these books is to teach readers how to create impactful relationships filled with trust and confidence.

These books are similar to communication books, leadership books, and conflict resolution books. These guides can help with trust building and key leadership skills development.

This list includes:

  • books on building relationships at work
  • books on trust in the workplace
  • trust-building books for work

Let’s get started!

List of books on building trust

Trust-building books are great reads for folks interested in successfully leading a team, working in harmony with teammates, and creating meaningful relationships in their personal lives. From The Courage To Trust by Cynthia Lynn Wall LCSW to Trust Works! By Ken Blanchard, here are the best books you can read to build or regain trust.

1. Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life By Robert C. Solomon and Fernando Flores

This book, written by Robert C. Solomon and Fernando Flores, is one of the best books on building trust. The writers share their wealth of knowledge on gaining trust in different areas of life, including work and personal relationships. The book provides readers with a precise definition of “trust.”

The authors also believe that trust is an emotional skill we build and sustain through promises and committing to our words. While reading this book, you will learn ways to maintain trust for as long as possible. You will also learn how to rebuild broken trust. The book further explains how mistrust can negatively impact a business’s efficiency. In addition, the authors note how personal and political interactions are becoming more complex. Therefore, building trust is essential as we continually meet and interact with strangers.

Notable Quote: “True, trust necessarily carries with it uncertainties, but we must force ourselves to think about these uncertainties as possibilities and opportunities, not as liabilities.”

Read Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life.

2. The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey.

The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey is an excellent guide if you want to build strong trust with clients, employees, and coworkers. This book explains why trust is an indispensable component that leaders need to successfully run a team or organization. After reading, you will gain a deeper insight into how trust works in relationships and businesses. Aside from building and maintaining trust, the book explains that the speed at which you build this trust matters.

Whether you are trying to build trust in a close relationship or even the most distant interaction, you will find tips in the book helpful. In this updated edition, particularly in the concluding section, the authors added ten reasons trust has become more relevant in society. Furthermore, the book explains how intentionally building trust can save your organization time spent on “check and balance” processes. The writer admits that organizations often resort to this process where there is no trust in the first place.

Notable Quote: “Technique and technology are important, but adding trust is the issue of the decade.”

Read The Speed of Trust.

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3. Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace: Building Effective Relationships in Your Organization by Dennis Reina and Michelle Reina

Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace by Dennis Reina and Michelle Reina is one of the best trust-building books for work. The writers discuss three dimensions of trust, through which you will learn the basics of building trust-based relationships.

You will also come across questions that can help you increase your trust capacity. Furthermore, the book talks about the betrayal that comes with breaking trust. Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace contains steps to take for healing if you are dealing with betrayal. You will also learn how to rebuild this broken trust. The best part of this book is that the chapters feature practical questions you can reflect on and apply to your life.

Notable Quote: “Trust-inspiring work environments are liberating. When employees feel good about the people they are working with and the company they are working for, they enjoy coming to work and generally work harder at their jobs, giving more of themselves—accepting challenges, stepping into the unknown, and seeing change as an opportunity rather than a threat.”

Read Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace.

4. The Thin Book of Trust: An Essential Primer For Building Trust at Work by Charles Feltman

The Thin Book of Trust by Charles Feltman is one of the best trust building books. This book illustrates how trust impacts companies. Charles Feltman explains that issues sabotaging good work, such as apathy, interpersonal conflict, and cynicism, have roots in mistrust. The writer also believes that trust is a skill you can learn and practice.

The Thin Book of Trust directs readers’ attention to the ability of mistrust to create resentment, anger, frustration, and even fear. After going through this guide, you will have the essential information to become exceptional trust-builders. The author dedicates a chapter in the book to explain how you can build trust in a team. In addition, Charles Feltman expresses his belief that whether you are a leader or coach, you must learn to build strong trust to succeed at work.

Notable Quote: “Whether you tend to extend trust more or less easily, you do so by assessing the probability that the other person will support or harm what you value in the future. In this sense choosing to trust or distrust is a risk assessment.”

Read The Thin Book of Trust.

5. The Courage To Trust: A Guide to Building Deep and Lasting Relationships by Cynthia Lynn Wall LCSW

The Courage To Trust by Cynthia Lynn Wall LCSW is one of the best books on building relationships at work. The writer identifies betrayal as one of the prominent causes of mistrust in relationships. While refraining from trusting people can be a defense mechanism to avoid betrayal, this act can lead to isolation and loneliness. The worst part is that the betrayed individual who refrains from trusting may end up putting their trust in the wrong person.

The book features tons of self-reflection questions and ideas. The author adds these ideas to inspire readers to develop new trust patterns. Furthermore, the book encourages readers to learn from betrayals that affect their ability to trust. You will also learn how to regain trust-building skills and become more confident in your engagements with people.

Notable Quote: “Why does it take courage to trust? No one is born knowing how to trust”

Read The Courage To Trust.

6. The Building Trust 60-Day Workout: Powerful Daily Lessons Proven to Build Trust at Work and at Home by Bruce Hendrick

In The Building Trust 60-Day Workout, you will learn 60 crucial lessons for building trust. The author had trust issues as he grew up dealing with mental illness in his family. Nevertheless, Bruce Hendrick was intentional about regaining the trust lost in his family and did overcome this challenge. So the author uses his experience to help professionals improve their trust-building skills.

Bruce Hendrick emphasizes the importance of trust in both work and personal relationships. Also, the book highlights how trusting an individual puts you in a vulnerable position. Regardless, trust can also make you feel honored and secure. More importantly, the writer talks about how people unknowingly lay grounds for mistrust and later point fingers at others as untrustworthy.

Notable Quote: “For accountability to take hold, we must acknowledge that we are responsible for something. ‘I’ll do the best’ or ‘I’ll try’ don’t qualify.”

Read The Building Trust 60-Day Workout.

7. The Improvisation Edge: Secrets to Building Trust and Radical Collaboration at Work by Karen Hough

The Improvisation Edge by Karen Hough is one of the best books on trust in the workplace. This book uses theatrical improvisation to explain how trust works expertly. During an improv, an actor cannot rely on his team. Since there are no costumes or scripts to follow, the team must learn to collaborate and trust each other’s abilities.

With this level of trust, the improvisers can turn failures into invaluable opportunities and encourage participation from the team. Karen Hough carefully explains four secrets that can help you learn the mindset of an improv actor, whether you are a manager, leader, or trainer. The trust-building ideas contained in this book are unique and include real-life examples.

Notable Quote: “In its best sense, outcome is the result of great teamwork, collaboration, and improvisation. Every member of a great team understands his or her connection to the outcome. All team members understand their parts in it, no matter how small, is critical.”

Read The Improvisation Edge.

8. Building Trust and Relationship at the Speed of Change: A Worldview Intelligence Leadership Series: Book 1 by Kathy Jourdain and Jerry Magel

Building Trust and Relationship at the Speed of Change is one of the best books on building trust. Kathy Jourdain and Jerry Magel combine their personal and work experiences as consultants and trainers to teach readers how to build strong trust and relationships. This book is engaging, thanks to the inclusion of the authors’ real-life experiences. You will learn how to apply different frameworks for trust-building.

Alongside trust, the book addresses how readers can grow as leaders. According to the writers, an excellent way to develop leadership is to adopt a “Worldview Intelligence” approach. This approach encourages an organization to be more inclusive, build creativity, and build potential leaders.

Notable Quote: “While building trust may be more of a marathon than a sprint, in our workplace environments, the process often must start quickly and then can take time to support and strengthen the trust over the longer term.”

Read Building Trust and Relationship at the Speed of Change.

9. Building Trust: Exceptional Leadership in an Uncertain World by Darryl Stickel

If you ever wonder why trust is necessary for good leadership, then you should read this book by Darryl Stickel. The writer notably explains that most institutions, including law enforcement agencies and the government, lack trust. This distrust is evident in various phenomena, from voters fearing their votes may not count to people refusing vaccines for fear of undisclosed consequences. In other words, the book explains how mistrust is more prevalent than ever.

Furthermore, the book delves from the traditional method used to build trust, which is “the con artist’s tactic.” Instead, the writer adopts a “Trust Unlimited” model and identifies ten levers to determine how much trust a leader needs and how much trust the leader has from followers. You will also review several case studies to see how Darryl Stickel applies his unique approach.

Notable Quote: ​Therefore, the ability to build trust becomes one of the primary differentiators between leaders who are merely good and those who are exceptional.

Read Building Trust: Exceptional Leadership in an Uncertain World.

10. Trust Works! Four Keys to Building Lasting Relationships By Ken Blanchard, Martha Lawrence, and Cynthia Olmstead

Trust Works is a comprehensive guide that explains how trust issues can affect different aspects of our lives. The book also notes the importance of building and maintaining trust in today’s world. You can use this book as a guide to improve at maintaining peace and cooperation at work. The best part is that the authors illustrate the application of several tips using real-life situations. Therefore, readers will get a clearer insight into practical ways to build trust.

You will equally learn how to use Ken Blanchard’s ABCD trust model to solve issues like low morale, poor response, and miscommunication. Trust Works! is among the best trust building books for teams looking for ways to encourage members to work together in peace and boost productivity.

​Notable Quote: How could we ever talk about and resolve trust issues if we were seeing them only through our own lenses?
Clearly, we needed a common framework, a model that created a mutual language for trust.

Read Trust Works

11. The Four Factors of Trust: How Organizations Can Earn Lifelong Loyalty by Ashley Reichheld and Amelia Dunlop

The Four Factors of Trust is among the best books on trust in the workplace. Ashley Reichheld and Amelia Dunlop share their secrets on how organizations can gain loyalty from members. The Four Factors of Trust reveals that clients are 88% more likely to return to a trusted business or brand. Also, once a company gains customer and employee trust, that company gains an edge and stands a high chance of outperforming competitors.

The writers further identify four essential factors for trust building: reliability, humanity, transparency, and capacity. By learning and practicing these factors, you will understand the connection between trust and human behavior. Also, the book will teach you how to measure trust in a company.

Notable Quote: “At its core, trust is built when organizations make good promises, and when they deliver on those promises. We call these, respectively, intent and competence. We demonstrate intent through being transparent and human. We demonstrate intent by being capable and reliable.

Read The Four Factors of Trust.

12. Building Trust: How To Get It! How To Keep It! By Hyler Bracey, Ph.D.

The writer of this guide, Hyler Bracey, is a talented public speaker and co-author of two management books, Winning the Race for Value and Managing from the Heart. The guide’s content is way beyond the importance of trust in relationships and different areas of our lives. Instead, the book focuses on the practical guidelines you can use to develop trust.

After reading the book, you will be able to identify what you are doing that causes you to lose the trust of folks around you. Also, Hyler Bracey identifies common beliefs that individuals think can build trust but will do nothing. In addition, the book addresses how to build trust again once broken.

Notable Quotes: “Part of a trusting relationship goes beyond believing you are capable and true to your word. It also suggests that you care about my welfare and success in helping me achieve my goals.”

Read Building Trust: How To Get It! How To Keep It!.

13. Meet Me On The Bridge: Nine Bricks to Create Strong Relationships at Work by Kimberly Sauceda

Meet Me On The Bridge by Kimberly Sauceda is one of the best books on building relationships at work. The book features enlightening stories from respected figures in various industries, including CEOs and managers. In this book, readers will learn ways to establish strong relationships in a business, especially between managers and employees. You will also learn how to be more open with your team members.

The “bridge” in the book’s title represents a relationship. The book further explains how you can use trust, connection, and respect to build or repair this bridge. Kimberly Sauceda’s “bridge-building” approach to relationships and trust is a great way to encourage readers to embrace a growth mindset at work. The writer also talks about the nine “bricks” you need to build this bridge completely.

Notable Quotes: “Every day, in every way, you’re building a bridge with everyone. You’re either doing things to reinforce the bridge (following through on what you say, building trust, actively listening, etc.), or the bridge is decaying and deteriorating.”

​Read Meet Me On The Bridge


Trust is essential for succeeding in many areas of life and building strong relationships. There are many books you can read on trust-building. Usually, these books have other subtopics, like leadership, relationship-building, and betrayal. Be sure to identify your goal to pick the right book on trust. Also, most of these books do not only teach readers the importance of trust but also practical ways to regain trust when broken. Whether you are a leader, an employee, or even a business owner, you can get one of these books on trust to enhance your relationship with followers or clients.

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FAQ: Books on building trust

Here are answers to questions about books on building trust.

What are the best books on building trust?

The best books on building trust include:

  1. Meet Me On The Bridge: Nine Bricks to Create Strong Relationships at Work by Kimberly Sauceda
  2. Building Trust: Exceptional Leadership in an Uncertain World by Darryl Stickel
  3. The Improvisation Edge: Secrets to Building Trust and Radical Collaboration at Work by Karen Hough
  4. The Thin Book of Trust: An Essential Primer For Building Trust at Work by Charles Feltman
  5. The Four Factors of Trus: How Organizations Can Earn Lifelong Loyalty by Ashley Reichheld and Amelia Dunlop

These books explain how readers can build trust in today’s complex world.

How can reading books help leaders build trust among employees?

Trust books reveal tips leaders can use to develop a strong relationship with followers. Leaders who read these books will learn how to build and sustain trust in the relationship. Also, leaders will most likely find leading a team extremely difficult or impossible once the team members lose trust in the leader. Trust books contain valuable advice leaders can use to regain this broken trust. A book on sustaining trust can also reform leaders’ behavior and language when dealing with employees.

What kinds of topics do trust-building books cover?

Trust-building books cover a variety of topics, including leadership development. Other topics you will likely encounter are relationship-building, repairing broken trust, causes of mistrust, and trust-building factors.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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