Relationships are complex. So is the trust building process. Trust comes from who you are, what you say and how you behave.
Trust evolves incrementally over time, is based on sound judgment, and should not be extended recklessly. Trust has terms, limits and conditions. Those who give trust evaluate risks and benefits before proceeding.
Components of the trust building process:
• Code of Honor – the basics like showing respect, telling the truth and keeping your word are foundational to the process of trust. If you are consistent in keeping the code then you build trust over time.
• Extend Trust – go first and give trust. Not a blind trust but rather a trust with clear expectations and strong accountability built into the process.
• Be Open – People who communicate only when they need something or when it’s in their best interest to tell you, limit trust. Those who share information appropriately increase trust. Tell people what they need to know not everything you know. Use judgment to balance between protecting confidential information and sharing needed knowledge. Information that adds to overload or isn’t pertinent diminishes trust.
Think of trust like a bank account. You extend trust credits proportional to the risk you are willing to take with someone. When that person honors the trust you’ve granted, then he or she gets a deposit in the trust account. When the person says or does something that busts your trust, then you deduct from their trust account.
Trust accounts can become overdrawn and create situations where it’s foolish to extend trust because there is no more trust to give. Be intentional about building trust and recognize that it’s a process. That’s why they say, “trust must be earned.”