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Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Information. Confidential. Sacred.


Trust is something not often given right away. Trust takes time to forge. The timing of when trust is earned is different for everyone. BUT, and there is always a bit, trust can be the fastest thing that is taken away once the trust is broken.

So-how do we build trust? What can we do to become more trusting with others that we forge a stronger relationship?

The answer, and what I do is use the vault.

The vault, to me, is a sacred bond I hold near and dear to my heart. Once something is shared with me, I knowingly place this information in the vault. Not only is this a sacred bond, but the vault is also a place where people know that you are able to support them with the information that was shared.

As a business and executive coach, I hear a lot of information. This information varies from profit and loss margins to the launch of a new service, to intimate information of my client's home life. Any information goes to the vault. Why? And here is the important nugget of information I want you to walk away with today...


This may come as a shock to you BUT this step sometimes is forgotten by some. Or, they may think the information they are sharing is 'common knowledge'. Well, it's not. If you are not the origin of the information, then the information is not meant for you to tell.

Also, I find there is a deception to what the term 'common knowledge' would mean to others. I was at a function a couple of weeks ago and I met up with some colleagues. We got caught up with each other and shared some updates on what we did over the summer. I then was asked a question by someone whom I have trusted for close to three years now. This question plagues me and drives me to challenge how I now view this colleague. They asked, "did you hear about 'so and so'"? Even if I did know, 1-I may know from a private conversation so I am not going to disclose a yes/no and 2-WHY are you sharing this information in the first place? So I said 'no' and this person immediately shared some information that I would deem 'sensitive' and may not be 'common knowledge'. This "so-and-so" recently separated from their partner. Granted, I knew the partner more than the individual BUT, and here is that but again, IT'S NOT YOUR STORY TO TELL! So, I asked how they found out and they were caught a bit off guard it seemed as if I was trying to validate the source. They mentioned it came directly from the 'so and so' person.

So, now I am in a precarious position. I know information that I should not know AND, more importantly, I have to give a second thought now to when I share information with this individual because the chances are highly probably that they will now share MY information to others.


As you can imagine, the trust is now broken with this colleague of mine. More importantly, I am now reflecting on WHAT information I have shared with them over the years. I am usually a fairly open individual when I chat with people. With this trust now broken, I need to consider how to work this person.

I shared with them that I now do not trust them. Instinctively, the reaction that was raised was 'why'? I explained to them about the trust that was given to you about this information that was sensitive and should not have been shared. I explained the repercussions of sharing this information to not only me, but to all the people you have shared this information with. They became notably upset. I justified my statement with, "how would you feel if someone shared this information, even if it were true?" The reaction was a sarcastic simle and a chuckle with the reply of "not very happy".


The apology process is the start of rekindling trust. Being genuine with your apology is the first step. Being obnoxious with your apology or half-thought of apology isn't going to help your case. Be specific with the apology so that you are noting exactly what you are sorry for and what other problems could have surfaced.

The VAULT is a cherished and scared tool that builds TRUST amongst you and your reputation. Do not forget the power of what the vault brings and how easily the trust can be taken from you.

Want to chat about the vault and TRUST? Join Dr. Drew's Discussion Community to connect with others about TRUST.

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