To trust or not to trust?

Everyone knows how important trust in any relationship is, right? No doubt you trust your partners, don’t you? We all talk about it and assume it is something that just happens over time – correct?

The question is, how true is this statement? Does trust really just happen over time? How did you actually get to that level of trust in the first place? More importantly, what do you do to keep it or build on it?

Question after question on something so simple and yet we see so many people struggle so often with it.  For example: have you ever had a situation where you wanted to pass on a piece of work or a responsibility and didn’t do it because you didn’t quite trust anyone to do it just as well as you or to the standards you wanted it to be?

There are clearly several reasons for our lack of trust in this example. They could be either of these:

  1. A missing skill
  2. A missing agreement
  3. Maybe not letting go of a sense of control
  4. The belief that another might not put the same priority on the task
  5. Fear of a hidden agenda
  6. Fear of losing credibility or respect
  7. Our desire to “rescue the world”

What if – instead of all of the above, we simply say to ourselves: “I believe and trust in the integrity, professionalism, ability and reliability of my partner and the relationship we have.”

How would this perspective change your approach? From the experience of testing this out with a few clients, I found that the more we take on this view, the more trust we are prepared to give ourselves. I noticed: The more trust we give ourselves, the more important it became to the other person to not disappoint me and to do the best job they can possibly do.  The same experience happens around behaviours. This in turn created trust in the other person towards me. So the story goes and the sooner we know it, we are on a see-saw of creating a wonderful relationship. From this space everything is possible:

Maintaining trust on the other hand requires some additional ingredients/qualities like standing by your word, investing time in the relationship, seeing/hearing/speaking with each other regularly and openness and honesty.  Are you likely going to experience disappointing moments in a trusting relationship? Hell yeah! Of course you are – we are human beings and we are all here to learn and grow! No one is perfect – it is only in the eyes of the observer.  Hey presto, within minutes another opportunity to create trust has presented itself!

So let’s make the most of enjoying the journey together. The question is: to trust or not to trust! What will you now choose?