The Trust Factor: Strategies for School Leaders, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Trust Factor

Strategies for School Leaders, 2nd Edition

By Julie Peterson Combs, Stacey Edmonson, Sandra Harris


192 pages

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pub: 2018-03-22
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This hands-on guide is a valuable resource for both current and aspiring school leaders. Written in short, easy-to-read chapters, The Trust Factor, 2nd Edition presents real-world examples and relevant research to help you develop the essential skills you need for building trust with staff, teachers, students, and parents. The Trust Factor provides updated versions of over 50 practical strategies that will help you learn to:

  • Recognize and avoid behaviors that damage trust
  • Repair trust when it has been broken
  • Navigate challenging situations, such as teacher evaluations, student discipline, parent complaints, or scarce resources
  • Establish and sustain trust with faculty, staff, students, and community
  • Approach social media in a way that builds trust with the community.

The guidance in this book is explained with simple, easy-to-implement steps you can apply immediately to your own practice, and are accompanied by reflection questions and self-assessment tools to help practicing or aspiring educational leaders succeed.


"Trust is an essential element of school leadership and lays the foundation to create a culture of high expectations and focused learners. Each section in this bookhighlights realistic feelings and aligned guidance that can equip school leaders to build capacity and maximize the talent of the human resources in the organization. The reflective actions recommended allow the reader to plan with purpose, act accordingly, and empower with empathy. This should be required reading for those seeking or in school leadership positions."

Lee A. Wright, Principal, Oakcrest Intermediate School, Tomball Independent School District, Texas

Table of Contents


Meet the Authors




Part I: Trust Busters

#1 "I Want Your Input, but not Really"

#2 "I Ignore Incompetence"

#3 "I Prefer Group Reprimands"

#4 "I Like Drama"

#5 "Get Over It"

#6 "Do what I say, not what I do"

#7 "Inconsiderate and Insensitive, Who me?"

#8 "It’s not my Fault"

#9 "Leave me Alone"

#10 "I Expect Perfection"

#11 "I’m in Love my Ideas"

#12 "I Take Things Personally"

#13 "I’ve Changed my Mind Again"

#14 "I’m in a Bad Mood"

#15 "I Like to Gossip"

#16 "Everyone Likes Me on Social Media"

Tool 1: Assessment for Trust Busters

Part II: Trust Builders

#1 Understand Trust

#2. Repair Broken Trust

#3 Listen Actively

#4 Be Consistent

#5 Use Empathy

#6 Stay Calm Under Pressure

#7 Use Power Wisely

#8 Be Transparent

#9 Assume the Best in Others

#10 Go to the Source

#11 Delegate Strategically

#12 Say Thank You Often

#13 Communicate Effectively

#14 Set High Expectations

#15 Be Visible

#16 Manage Your Time

#17 Maintain Confidentiality

#18 Build Consensus

#19 Acknowledge Interdependence

#20 Follow Through

#21 Empower Others

#22 Take Risks

#23 Respond with Respect

#24 Use Humor

#25 Treat Others as you Want to be Treated

Tool 2: Assessment for Trust Builders

Part III: Trust Boosters

#1. Assess Trust

#2. Talk about Trust

#3. Recognize Strengths

#4. Foster Leadership

#5. Help Others Deal with Change

#6. Honor the Past

#7. Allow People to Fail

#8. Demonstrate Competence

#9. Provide Resources

#10. Engage in Self-reflection

Tool 3: Assessment for Trust Booster


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Administration / School Superintendents & Principals