Trust Me Please

Blog 2022-10-25 Trust

With Halloween just around the corner, my install-recall memories are of wonderful, handmade costumes and the warning: “Don’t accept anything that’s not wrapped from people you don’t know.” As an adult, I get it; as I child, I couldn’t reconcile the lack trust in people who lived on our street. 

Trust is a popular topic among business leaders. When I searched the Internet for “definition of trust,” I found 395 million results! Indeed, there are many variations on the theme and slightly different words to essentially express the same thing.

Rather than share or defend my definition, I offer another twist on trust: 

  • Do you first ask — or expect — others to earn your trust or do you first give them the opportunity to lose it? 

When people don’t feel trusted, they can play it safe; second-guess themselves (and others); or try to simply ‘please’ the boss. So, when a leader expects a lot from an individual whom that leader doesn’t yet trust, isn’t that leader potentially “hoisted on his own petard?” (or someone caught in his own trap, as Hamlet described it.)

When people feel trusted: their confidence grows; they feel valued and connected; they are engaged; and they step up to more. As a result of those emotions and actions, trust is increased. What a positive do-loop! And what leader wouldn’t want that?!

This Week’s Challenge: Think about the relationships you have in both work and life. For the ones in which you expect people to earn your trust, ask yourself, “How would your connection be different if trust was present already? What is truly possible?”

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