Skip to main content

Teach: Trust Tools

The tools on this page can be adapted to teach trust, faith, or reliance.
Request tools created by the Project on Positive Leadership
• Tell our community about how you use these tools and ask other users for advice on our LinkedIn groups page
• If you have tools you like to use and are willing to share them with us, let us know

Suspiciousness, Trust, and Naïveté Stories

Free tool available upon request from the Project on Positive Leadership.

  • Author: Ryan Quinn
  • Date: 2020
  • Series: Virtues and Vices
  • Pages: 7
  • Summary: This is one of the tools that makes up the Project on Positive Leadership’s “Virtues and Vices” series of instructional tools. It contains four stories of trust, suspicion, or naïveté. A tool with multiple stories enables students to examine what is required to exhibit ideal trust across different settings, and to account for the differing perspectives of multiple stakeholders. Each story includes carefully-crafted reflection questions to provoke the students’ learning, to prepare them for class, to prepare themselves to practice trust, and to motivate them to be more mindful about their approach to leadership.

Sloan Performance Review

  • Role Play
  • Summary: This tool provides a powerful way to teach trust because it puts the manager into a position where it is natural to accuse the employee of being less than fully forthcoming while being less than fully forthcoming him/herself, and not realizing it. This leads to a great discussion about why and how trust is hard, and what we can do about it.

Win as Much as You Can (Prisoner’s Dilemma)

  • Activity
    • Price: Free
    • There are many versions. This link is provided by
  • Summary: The prisoner’s dilemma is a long-time, reliable tool for teaching trust in the classroom. Almost always, people try to build trust, while one person or group betrays it.