Do people trust you? Do you trust you?
Trust us – if you have to tell people to trust you, it’s not going to happen.
The phrase “trust me” lives in lame, predictable Netflix series which always seem to culminate in a life lesson about why the antagonist should never have been trusted in the first place. Everywhere else, it’s earned, cultivated, and always in danger of being destroyed.
When we walk through life without trust, we’re uneasy. Things may not be as they appear, and words don’t mean their dictionary definitions. We’re also unproductive, as we search for the “back story” or ulterior motives, rather than accepting information and moving forward.
Trust is the glue of life.
Trust builds relationships in business, in communities, and in our personal lives. When trust is present, we communicate: we can listen to truly understand, we can speak with passion about what matters, and we can also feel comfortable when no words are spoken at all.
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships together.” – Stephen Covey
Without trust, there is no relationship. Trust isn’t necessarily an all-or-nothing deal. As you build a relationship, the trust barometer can rise slow and steady, or shoot to the moon. A new relationship with an individual who is a “friend of a friend” forms differently than one with a new business contact who has cold-called your office and shares no mutual connections.
I trust you, I trust you not
The difference between high- and low-trust relationships is palpable. Think back to the last time you went shopping for a big-ticket item, and were approached by an eager sales associate who asked a lot of prying questions about your budget. Now, consider a chance meeting with your insurance agent, who you’ve worked with for the past 20+ years, and who has some information about new insurance products on the market. In terms of confidence or suspicion, how much information are you likely to share in each scenario?
Trust = confidence
Distrust = suspicion
Likely you’ll be all-ears for your insurance agent, and tight-lipped with the info-sharing for the sales associate. But maybe not: our trust of others is directly related to how much we trust ourselves. Not as in, trusting ourselves with our kids’ Halloween candy – because tiny chocolate bars are tasty. But, if we are 100% in trusting ourselves to be genuine and true to our values and beliefs, we then have confidence to engage with others in a wider range of trust situations.
“Self-trust is the first secret of success.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A lack of trust in ourselves can be the fuel for our suspicions about others. When you look in the mirror, do you see the raw, untouched image of your face – or does your mind apply filters and photoshop? You might need some time to build up your own trust before you can solidify trusting relationships with others. And that’s okay – honesty, in big and consistent doses, in a building block of trust.
Take the time and build your trust. Today, your bathroom mirror. Tomorrow, the world.
Trust starts with you, and then extends to your team. Give us a read over the next few weeks, as we dive into the time and costs associated with trust, myths and truths, and trust within organizations.
Peter Reek is the Founder and President of Smart, Savvy + Associates. We find high-calibre marketing, communications, creative and sales professionals with proven track records and in-demand skills for companies who need them, across the Pacific Northwest and in Toronto. We also provide leadership and training development programs for workplace programs, corporate retreats and individual growth opportunities. Contact Peter to discuss your organization's training needs.