Trust Need Matrix

Trust Need Matrix

As a leader, you need to know what people want from you. This handy tool divides people into four types, based on their level of need and level of trust. It enables you to understand the needs of your direct reports and determine the management style that will work best with them.


For each person who reports to you, find the quadrant that best reflects how each person acts and put their initials in that square. Then use the instructions below to develop an appropriate management approach.

You build a sense of need by:

  • demonstrating knowledge
  • effective teaching
  • problem-solving
  • judicious use of authority
  • fairness
  • firmness

You build a sense of trust by:

  • clear priorities
  • consistency
  • empathy/understanding
  • demonstrated concern
  • personal loyalty
  • personal integrity

LRI’s expert consultants can provide coaching to help you or others in your organization develop leadership skills. Please call us for a free consultation at 800-598-7662 or email your inquiry.

Eric Douglas

Eric Douglas is the senior partner and founder of Leading Resources Inc., a consulting firm that focuses on developing high-performing organizations. For more than 20 years, Eric has successfully helped a wide array of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and corporations achieve breakthroughs in performance. His new book The Leadership Equation helps leaders achieve strategic clarity, manage change effectively, and build a leadership culture.

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