Trust is the Heart of Relationship
Relationship is the backbone of all civilization, and trust is the heart of Relationship. If your heart doesn’t beat, you don’t have life, and if trust isn’t a steady, consistent ingredient of a relationship, the relationship is dead. I’m talking about all relationships: romantic, business, family, friend, community, church – all relationships.
The problem is that trust is a tool, many people have not learned to use appropriately — or you could think of it as a muscle that needs to be exercised and developed.
And trust is not something that you plop down, “Here it is.” That can be risky.
The 2 Sides of Trust
Here’s the 2 sides of trust: If I want your trust I have to earn it. I earn it by doing small things that benefit you.
You, on the other side, don’t just declare full trust and take your chances. You trust a little, in one situation, where you don’t have much to lose. Like meeting for lunch, and seeing if s/he shows up, shows up on time, participates well in lunch conversation. That person has passed the first trust test. Maybe next invite him/her to a party (but not your bosses party where you have too much to lose) and see if s/he behaves appropriately so that you are not embarrassed by him/her.
Build trust in increments. In romantic relationships, each date is a step of trust. In other relationships, incremental situations are just as important.. In the workplace, tell a friend a private story that doesn’t matter if it’s made public, but still ask him/her to not tell anyone. If the story gets around, you haven’t lost anything, and you’ve learned that that person is not to be trusted with secrets. S/he may still be a good person, just not good with secrets. Make those distinctions.
Which is different from what Mary did at her new job. Alice befriended her and so she instantly trusted her—she was so nice to her. Mary confided that she was not happy in her new job and that she was actively looking for a new job. Well, don’t you know, that the following week, she was given notice. The HR lady wished her good luck on her job search assuring her that she would surely find a job that she really liked. It was obvious that Alice had done her in.
Better to offer trust in small doses where you can’t be ‘fired’ when you colleague turned out not to be trustworthy.
Trust is not something that you bestow on someone; it’s something they have earned.