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Trust What? Trust You?

Our passion is about transforming habitual thinking and behaviors that no longer serve today’s fast-paced, interdependent working world. This “Conversation”targets one of the fundamental distinctions of building partnership: trust.

Over the past 25 years, I have spent hours reading, studying, talking about and dealing with trust. As time has gone by, the very notion of trust has become much more complex and multi-dimensional to me.

I was raised in a household where you either trusted someone or you didn’t. Sometimes you trusted people until they screwed up and then, well, it was over – forever. That view of trust only serves to reduce the amount of people with whom we can relate, share our lives or build partnerships.

Fortunately, trust is really much more dynamic than this limited view. We have choices around trust. For instance, we can intentionally build trust with people that we donít feel attracted to or who are different than us. We can forgive people and heal trust when it is broken, and we can give trust before it is earned.

As leaders, we need to establish different types of relationships when needed. If we want to be successful, then we need to demonstrate and actively build trust in all our relationships. We want to build authentic trust – not simple trust or blind trust.

Here are the differences:

  • Simple trust is simply there: I trust you no matter what; you will always be there and never let me down. 
  • Blind trust involves deception: I must pretend that you are trustworthy even when you are not. 
  • Authentic Trust is built on the truth: It’s open and honest and includes the potential for betrayal. In order to be authentic, trust must be conditional. For example: I trust you to manage the pulping area, but I don’t trust you to run the whole plant.

Consider your perspective about trust and betrayal. Then ask yourself three questions:

  1. How trustworthy are you?
  2. How trustworthy do you want to be?
  3. What will it take to change?

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