Whether you’re on a sports team, in an office or a member of a family,
if you can’t trust one another there’s going to be trouble. – Joe Paterno, Head Football Coach
Children are very trusting. Some would say they are gullible or naïve. As we grow up we learn that not all people are trustworthy and the questions we need to ask are: “Whom do i trust?” and, “Can I trust myself?”
In the past I tended to trust everyone but learned the hard way that not all human beings are trustworthy… Life lessons are great teachers! We’ve all had experiences that validate the difference between relationships built on trust and those that are not.
Many of us have trusted people who went on to deceive, manipulate, abuse or exploit us. We may have been comfortable trusting a person and then shocked when we found our instincts to be wrong. The problem with these betrayals is that we learn to distrust everyone, to stuff feelings or to love others conditionally. Living with an attitude of distrust lessens our effectiveness, efficiency and joy.
Do you trust yourself? Are you someone others can trust?
Trust requires confidence. When you trust people, you have confidence in them; in their integrity and their abilities. When you distrust people, you become suspicious of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities and their track record.
Healthy relationships are built on trust and there are many good people we can trust. We do not need to live with a spirit of suspicion.
However, trust must be earned; It is not something to simply give away to others.
There’s skill in developing and maintaining trust in our relationships. In his book, The Speed of Trust, Stephen M. R. Covey addresses what he calls the “5 Waves of Trust.” They include: self trust, relationship trust, organizational trust, market trust and societal trust.
Self-trust is the confidence you have in yourself and your ability to inspire trust in others. It’s about becoming a person who is worthy of trust. Ultimately it is about credibility; about being believable to both yourself and others.
Credibility is about character and competence, within which Covey includes the following four core components:
Whether you are aware, or not, people notice your integrity, intent, capabilities and results. Looking at the four core components enables you to pinpoint what you can do in your own life to increase trust and credibility, and, how you work with others to increase trust at home, in relationships and at work.
Being able to trust yourself and others changes everything.