The relationship between people pleasing and trust has come up a few times this week in my work with my clients. Seems there are many people who believe, like I did, that pleasing others fosters trusting relationships.

Not necessarily!

In my first career in the public service, my energy was mostly spent trying to figure out what the "right" answer was before speaking. I had a compulsive need to please my boss, my colleagues, the folks on my team and our clients. I was afraid that if I crossed any of them, relationship would be eroded and it would be harder to get the work done.

Conversations circled endlessly, never landing on a firm course of action. Whenever someone seemed unhappy I would backpedal or worse, try to...