What is trust? Pt 1

What is Trust? It is something we all speak about, it is necessary for healthy relationships but what is it exactly?

Trust by definition is “a firm belief or reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.” Trust is necessary for our relationships to flourish.

We can build or destroy trust in many ways here are a few ideas around how to build trust. Next time we will talk about how we destroy trust.

Let’s look at this from both a business and a personal perspective. There are five excellent ways for people and leaders to build trust into their teams, and in their personal relationships. Additionally there are five quick ways to lose it. First let’s consider how to Build it.

Establish and maintain integrity.

It is the foundation of trust in any organisation or relationship. Integrity must begin at the top and then move down through an organisation. In our relationships Integrity must be present at the beginning and remain. This means, among other things, keeping promises and always telling the truth, no matter how difficult it might be. If it’s people have integrity, an organisation can be believed.  In your personal relationships having integrity means that you are consistent, caring and honest.

 Communicate vision and values.

Communication is important, since it provides the artery for information and truth. By communicating the organisation’s vision, management defines where it’s going. By communicating its values, the methods for getting there are established.

Taking the time to communicate values in your personal relationships is well worth it too. As a family it is very powerful to consider what values you hold as a family and why. This takes things to a whole new level for your kids and gets many unspoken assumed things out into the open.

Consider all as equal partners.

 Trust is established when even the newest rookie, a part-timer, or the lowest paid employee feels important and part of the team. The same for families, everyone has an equal say. This begins with management not being aloof, as well as getting out and meeting the troops. For families and friends it’s about everyone having a voice and being heard.

This should be followed by leaders seeking opinions and ideas (and giving credit for them). Even simple things like knowing the names of employees and their families and treating one and all with genuine respect.

Personally, some of the best ideas can come from the kids in families too. With inquisitive questioning asking, why do we do things this way? Why not a new way? At the very least you are communicating with them and explaining why even if change does not come about.

Focus on shared, rather than personal goals.

When employees feel everyone is pulling together to accomplish a shared vision, rather than a series of personal agendas, trust results. This is the essence of teamwork. When a team really works, the players trust one another.

In the same way families can function as wonderfully well oiled teams. After all you are a group of people working toward coming goals aren’t you?

Do what’s right, regardless of personal risk.

We all know intuitively what’s “right” in nearly every situation. Following this instinctive sense, and ignoring any personal consequences will nearly always create respect from those around us. From this respect will come trust.

Next time we will consider how we can destroy trust.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.