Trust is the foundational glue of relationships, first with yourself and then others. No amount of company policies or SOPs can dictate team coherance and true team mentality- that only comes via one on one relationship building and takes time to make it strong, really strong where team members have each others’ backs.
The dictionary defines it in several ways, let’s have a look shall we?
Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
Believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of…
Trust is a fragile…to me it means the ability to be myself – completely. And without the assistance or approval of anyone else.
Trust must be reciprocal some say, others agree that Trust is earned while still others argue that Trust is conditional. Is Trust dependent on others? Is Trust conditional? Is trust easily granted based on title, role, etc?
There are usually 2 camps of thought regarding Trust, some give it all to a newly acquainted person and take away trust a little at a time based on actions. On the opposite side of the spectrum others are completely distrusting and only slowly start trusting based on the other’s actions.
There are several qualities of a personality that are required to be trust worthy and to be trusting of others, I list the top 4 below:
Maturity – It requires life experience and interaction with lots of people in vastly different situations and “hierarchical” scenarios. After a while you’ll notice that trust is granted easily (by some) when certain titles are bestowed upon a person…A Dr. is trusted by some to know health, a Lawyer, to know the law, a boss to know what’s best, etc. Maturity and experience however, will teach you otherwise. Your job is to know more and to not take anything personally. People only know and do what they can from where they are and what they know.
Communication Skills – Not just talking, but listening – with your eyes, ears and heart. Sure, people talk about who they are, what they do, what they’re going to do, etc, etc. Don’t listen. Yes, it negates what I just said…don’t listen with your ears, “listen” with your eyes and heart. If your intuition flags it, pay attention. If their actions don’t match their words believe what you see the first time. Moreover, ask directly and specifically, don’t generalize: “when you committed to having the project done on 1/4 and then again on 1/7, now you give me another date I believed you. Your actions are training me not to trust your commitments- is there new information I’m not aware of?” this way you can authentically get to the bottom of things- but it requires the other party to have these 4 skills as well. Good luck.
Vulnerability – This is a big one. The ability to be trust worthy and to obtain trust requires a good bit of vulnerability, but not the mushy, victim mentality, weak kind of vulnerability, but the strong, confident type. It requires being truthful and standing behind your actions and your words. it requires transparency, not for others – but for yourself. What is trust from others if you don’t first trust yourself; you must be able to tell yourself the truth about why or why not you’re not following through with something. It also requires accepting others’ completely untrustworthy ways and being ok with it…at an arm’s length of course.
Strength – You must have the strength to move on. Don’t spend time trying to understand how others can say something and do another, it’s a waste of time. spend more time on being a trustworthy person and cultivate your understanding and savvy to be able to decipher others quickly, hence becoming more efficient at things you truly can change.
Oh, and trust is a verb – spend more time learning about yourself, being truthful to yourself and your values and not selling out. When it comes to others, however, TRUST…….but verify.