Building Trust/Destroying Trust

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

30344605_thbTrust is a fragile and delicate commodity and a critical one. Without it we’re unable to relax or move forward; without trust we cannot believe.

What is trust?

According to Dr. D. C. Tway, Jr., (2003) trust is a state of readiness for unguarded interaction. Think about that for a moment… Unguarded interaction! Isn’t that an amazing concept? Imagine being relaxed around others. Imagine having the confidence to be open to whatever happens in any given moment.

Now think about the people around you. Do you have the state of readiness with any of them? Do you trust your business colleagues, your boss? What about your relationship partner, is there trust there? Do you trust yourself?

Trust is built upon 3 basic principles: confidence, skills or talents, and shared-values:

  • Confidence: that is, your capacity to trust. You believe in the concept of trust, you’ve experienced it, and know that it is possible.
  • Skills or Talents: that is, how you perceive competence in others. You trust others because you believe in their ability to function competently within the current situation.
  • Shared Values: that is, how you perceived Intentions of others. You believe that the actions, words and intentions of another are inspired by a mutually shared vision rather than self-serving motives.

These three types of trust – self-confidence, skills, and shared values – inform our everyday life: Our decisions, plans, relationships, and commitments.

We destroy trust in many ways. Have you ever been deeply disappointed by someone you trusted? Have you ever destroyed trust?

Here are 5 major trust-busters Susan M. Heathfield, HR specialist outlines:

  1. Not telling the truth (Lies)
  2. Leaving out information (Omissions)
  3. Failure to follow through with commitments and obligations (Disappointment)
  4. Behavior that demonstrates a double standard (Not walking your talk)
  5. Keeping people off-balance by making seemingly irrational, haphazard and unexpected changes for no obvious reason (Inconsistency)

Do you live in a world of trust? If you’re willing to take risks; to share a hard truth and face a hard truth; to confront others and take feedback; to share accountability with others; to engage in healthy solution-driven conflict, then you do, indeed, live in a world where there is an abundance of trust.

If, however, you are afraid to speak up; to confront where required; to tell the truth; to hold yourself and others accountable then you live in a world without trust – a world rife with dysfunction and confusion.

Lack of trust among co-workers and team members increases the prevalence of lower productivity, missed deadlines, failed missions, and even health problems.

For more information or help evaluating your teams or relationships, building your confidence, your capacity to trust, and you tolerance for the intolerable and untrustworthy (without sacrificing your self-respect), contact Kathleen Bartle