Simple—When you break it down into its essential components of competence, integrity, benevolence, and dependability, trust is really pretty simple. Be good at what you do. Act with integrity. Demonstrate care and concern for people. Do what you say you will do. Simple.
Complex—There is a vast and complex set of variables that influence the development of trust with people and in organizations. The company culture, policies and procedures, governance systems, and the behavior of senior leaders are just a few of the organizational variables. Interpersonal variables include temperament and personality types, level of emotional intelligence, nationality, and life experiences all shape a person’s perception of trust.
Powerful—Trust is the fuel that powers personal and organizational success. With it, all things are possible. People are willing to take risks, reach for the stars, and invest their all. Without it, success moves out of reach. People pull back, productivity goes down the drain, and progress grinds to a halt.
Fragile—One careless act can instantaneously destroy trust that has taken years to develop, especially when the breach of trust involves a personal character failure.
Strong—Trust is one of the strongest forces on earth. When high levels of trust exist, relationships can endure the ambiguity and unknown of this world. Even if trust suffers a major blow, it can recover and be stronger than before if the parties are willing to work at rebuilding it.
Forgiving—Trust assumes the best intentions of others and looks to forgive when someone falls short of expectations. Trust knows that people aren’t perfect and that mistakes will happen, but people will generally prove themselves worthy of the trust placed in them.
Essential—Trust is the foundation of any healthy, successful relationship. Whether it’s between people, organizations, or countries, trust is essential for mutual cooperation and respect.
Earned—If you want it, you’ve got to earn it. Trust is earned over time through consistent and trustworthy behavior.
Given—If you want it, you’ve got to give it. Extending trust to someone is a trust booster – it builds trust in a relationship. Someone has to make the first move so it might as well be you.
Exponential—Trust feeds on itself and grows exponentially over time. One trust boosting behavior begets another, and another, and another, and before you know it, you have a high trust relationship.
Behavioral—People need to see it to believe it. Words are great, but actions are better. Demonstrate trustworthy behavior in all you do and you’ll never have to worry about someone questioning your character.
Leadership—Leadership is about influencing others, and if people don’t trust you, you won’t be able to influence them. Leadership and trust go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.
What is trust to you? Leave a comment and complete the phrase: Trust is…