Building Trust

How to Build Trust?

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Is it in our nature to trust and to be trusted? – Yes. 

Are we bred to betray and distrust? – Yes. 

These responses appear to defy logic, yet they don’t. The nature of the questions themselves is what goes wrong. When you recognise that handling social life successfully isn’t always about being a saint or a sinner, questions about which path to choose fade away.

So, do we trust or we don’t? 

What is Trust?

Trust is the centre of a whole web of concepts, in fact, it is the centre of human connection. We trust or distrust the inanimate objects around us on a very basic level, on a higher level we trust or distrust humans and their relations. 

As I type this, I’m not concerned about my chair collapsing beneath me, but I am aware that the kitchen door can catch my fingers if I am not careful. That shelf won’t hold the new TV, but those curtains will keep the chill out on a cold winter night. We don’t always know whether to trust or distrust, but time typically tells. But before we step into deciding should we trust or not, we should first understand trust.

So what is trust anyway?

Trust is the belief in the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone. To trust someone implies putting your trust in them because you feel secure with them and know they will not harm or violate you.

At its most fundamental level, the desire to trust implies one thing: you’re vulnerable. You don’t have complete control over your ability to meet your needs or achieve the results you want. So you become vulnerable to trust.

Charles Feltman, the author of the book The Think Book of Trust defines trust as “Choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions.” He adds that building trust is a competency that we are not wired to know. It is learned, improved, and practiced over time. When one is able to accomplish this, they allow themselves to be vulnerable and deeply connected.

According to him, the choice to trust consists of four distinct assessments about how someone is likely to act. These assessments are sincerity, reliability, competence, and care. Together they define what we consider to be a person’s trustworthiness. 

Trust is a neurological process that connects several representations into a semantic pointer that incorporates emotions. It’s a collection of neutral patterns that include representations of the circumstance that the emotion is about, assessments of the situation’s significance to objectives, physiological changes, and (sometimes) representations of the person that is experiencing the emotion.

When people discuss low-trust relationships, tension, anguish, anxiety, pain, and even dread come to mind. Everything changes when they talk about high-trust relationships—eyes light up, smiles arise, people become engaged, and the discourse shifts to the positive results that create happiness. Not only this but trust is really important. The next section explains the importance of trust.

Importance of Trust

The degree of prosperity, energy, and joy we feel in our personal and professional life is closely related to our level of trust. The reason for this is that trust is a fundamental and ageless concept of life purpose and quality—not just in our personal relationships, but also in teams, companies, societies, industries, and even nations. Every aspect of a strong, civilised society is woven with trust as an enabling and powerful catalyst. Most of us, though, are unaware of it or our reliance on it until we lose it.

Try to imagine a world without trust to get a sense of how important it is. Consider what it would be like to drive your car if you didn’t trust other drivers on the road… or to board a plane where you didn’t trust the pilot’s competence or the safety of the maintenance procedures… or to go to a hospital for surgery if you didn’t trust the doctor and medical staff were properly certified and trained or even choose a coach to be there for you. 

One of the reasons that trust violations are so harmful is that trust is such an important principle, and we rely on it, whether consciously or unconsciously, to make our environment meaningful and our relationships worthwhile. Here are a few reasons why trust is important.

Trust Resolves Disputes – Who wants to work in a place where people fight? Nobody does. We want a peaceful environment combined with joy at workplace. When we trust people, we believe them and the chances of dispute reduce. A leader must acquire the trust of his or her constituents in order to gain their participation and commitment. 

Trust Reduces Stress – A lack of trust, whether in the business or in personal relationships, is emotionally draining and stressful. Someone feels as though they’re walking through a minefield, not knowing when whatever they say or do will backfire. They always feel that someone is ready to stab them in the back, so they’re continually looking over their shoulder. Trust removes us from such stressful situations.

Trust creates Psychological Safety – Psychological Safety is the ability to feel safe, without fear. Psychological Safety is underpinned by trust in the domain of care. This means that the person feels safe and isn’t afraid to speak up.

Trust Encourages Communication – Trust allows one to communicate without fear. It gives us the ability to communicate openly and honestly. Trust is important for both a relationship and even in an organisation. Without trust people lie and communication breaks down from its core.

Trust Improves Productivity – When risk-taking, quick decisions, and self-confidence are combined in the job, the result is a more productive environment. Everything takes longer when there is a lack of trust. There is less cohesion and more stress. Micromanagement has become the norm. As a result, a company’s productivity suffers. 

Trust creates Connections – Humans thrive to create connections. Every day, every moment we try to create a connection. Any effective connection, whether it’s between a leader and a follower, a consultant or coach and a client, or a relationship between spouses, siblings, and friends, is built on a foundation of trust. Trust enables us to create connections, with our partners, with our loved ones, and even in our teams.

Trust Promotes Positivity – Trust instills in a person the belief that the world isn’t always harmful. There are folks with excellent intentions out there. According to research, optimism has a number of advantages, including improved health and longer lifespans.

How to Build Trust in a Relationship?

Communicate 

Relationships fail for a variety of reasons, one of which is a lack of communication. Being explicit about what you have or have not committed to, as well as what has been agreed upon, is an important part of good communication.

Communication is essential. You might find that the messages you planned to send aren’t the ones that are received if you don’t have it. Thus communication becomes a major part of trust.

Be Vulnerable

We also create trust via vulnerability in the connections we pick in our daily life. Some of this happens naturally as a result of time and daily interactions. However, emotional vulnerability is also crucial. 

Building trust requires a willingness to expose yourself to the danger of being wounded — talking about something embarrassing from your past, allowing them in on what worries you right now, and revealing parts of yourself that you don’t believe are “beautiful” enough for a first date. When our partners have the chance to let us down or injure us, but they don’t, trust is developed. And, in order for them to pass the test and earn our trust, we must expose ourselves to disappointment.

Learn From Your Mistakes 

We all make mistakes, all the time. But what separates us is the ability to learn from our mistakes. Often it is seen that relationships tend to fall flat because partners keep making the same mistake. Mistakes are boulders that we need to remove to build love and trust in our relations.

Commit

Every relationship is based on the foundation of commitment. In order to build trust in your relationship, you need to commit. Commit to being true, to be honest, and to always be there. Show up for your partner when you say you would, even when things are difficult, and keep your promises so they know they can count on you in the long run.

Be Consistent

Remember that creating trust demands not only keeping your commitments but also not making promises you can’t keep. Keeping your word demonstrates to people what you expect from them, and as a result, they will be more likely to treat you with respect, resulting in increased trust.

To build a solid structure that feels like a home, you must install brick after brick after brick. Relationships are the same way: they require dedication and consistency. It will also save you a lot of time, effort, and stress.

How to Build Trust in the workplace?

Have you imagined how these big names like Amazon and Tata have got their names on every mouth?

Well, here’s a fact, Amazon earns customer trust by delivering a superior online shopping experience, which includes acting as a broker or intermediary for a range of resellers—even undercutting its own pricing on occasion to give customers as many options as possible. “If you build a terrific experience, customers tell each other about it,” says Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The power of trust is enormous.

Through its “Leadership with Trust” mantra, which is reflected in the company’s objective (“To improve the quality of life of the people it serves”), Code of Conduct, and charity, the India-based Tata Group has built such a culture for its 400,000 employees.

Isn’t it shocking that even the big brands are using the power of trust to build their names. It’s true, Trust is powerful. But how do we build trust in the workplace? Here are a few tips that can help you build trust in your workplace:

Coaching

Leaders are the most essential part of an organisation. The success of the employee lies in the hands of their leaders. Authentic leadership has been found in studies to increase staff engagement and performance by cultivating trust. One of the most efficient methods for them to do this is to coach their employees rather than acting like typical “bosses” and disciplining them when they do poorly.

Create a Culture

Creating an inclusive workplace culture that everyone believes in is an important aspect of generating trust in your company.

That’s why it’s critical to foster an inclusive culture that recognises and celebrates the contributions of all of your employees. According to Gartner, inclusive and diverse teams can boost their performance by up to 30%.

Be Honest

One of the most essential parts of a workplace is, to be honest. While building trust in a workplace relationship, honesty becomes an essential part. Ever a small lie like you have completed the workflow, or you have communicated the leader’s message to the client can hamper your relationship with your team and the manager. So make sure you are honest not only in your work but in what you communicate to others.

Communicate

Communication is the key in a workplace. Communicate not only by the way you speak and tell your team how you feel but also listen and appreciate. Your employees are distinct individuals with their own opinions and points of view. Invite them to express themselves, and when they do, listen carefully. Positive professional relationships are founded on mutual understanding and trust, and this is the foundation for them. 

It’s critical to provide them with frequent, real-time recognition. Sending thank you cards, verbal praise, and physical benefits like bonuses and employee awards are all ways to demonstrate appreciation.

Soft Skills

While verbal communication is essential, it is not sufficient. Soft skills such as personality traits, attitudes, and actions, as well as nonverbal communication, are equally important. Positive body language, combined with empathy, patience, and problem-solving skills, creates a friendly environment for employees, encouraging them to approach you.

Trust is deemed to evaporate if employees feel that you are not speaking from your heart. So make sure that your team is comfortable with you so that they trust you.

Steps to Rebuild Trust

Trust is the foundation of a relationship. All relations whether it is with your partner, your team, or your leader are nurtured with the flow of trust. But what happens when this trust is broken? 

When trust gets shattered, the safety of the relationship is in danger. You may begin to doubt the other person’s honesty, motives, intentions, feelings, and actions as a result of your insecurity. Boundaries crop up and you feel the need to hide stuff from your partner. When this happens what do you do?

Charles Feltman, an expert on trust at work has said that there are 7 steps to rebuild trust and invite the person to have the conversion you have been avoiding. These 7 steps are as follows: (In case you wish to know more read the blog: Why Building Trust is Important? )

  1. Decide if you are willing to talk to the person and have the conversation.
  2. Identify the assessment(s) you are concerned with:  Sincerity, Reliability, Competence, and Care.
  3. Define the “standard” of trust.
  4. Understand the Standard
  5. Identify the specific actions or behaviors that have led to your assessment of distrust.
  6. Determine what you need from them in order for them to regain your trust. 
  7. Ask the other person if he/she would be willing to have a conversation with you about something that concerns you.

Trust Yourself

Given the dangers of trusting someone (or something), it would be nice to take a break every now and again. It would be a refreshing shift to be in a scenario where you don’t have to worry about what another person will do—where you have complete knowledge of his or her reliability. 

For example, consider a circumstance in which you know the other person, as well as you, know yourself. Yet, in truth, such circumstances are not uncommon; you are likely to encounter them on a daily basis. However, the companion in question isn’t someone you’re familiar with; it’s you. Unfortunately, this does not make things any easier. Consider that for a moment. Have you ever questioned your ability to trust yourself? 

Choosing to trust yourself is similar to choosing to trust another person in that you’re betting on what you’ll do in the future. It is not just where we are, but also when we are, that determines how highly we value various possible rewards—and thus how trustworthy we will be to our prior objectives. So, I leave you with the question, apart from trusting your partner and your firm, do you trust yourself? 

It’s time you finally ask yourself this question – 

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who’s the Fairest One of All? 

Quotes on Trust

Trust is like the air we breathe—when it’s present, nobody really notices; when it’s absent, everybody notices. – Warren Buffett

“Trust is defined as choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions.” – Charles Feltman

He who does not trust enough will not be trusted. – Lao Tzu


The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. – Ernest Hemingway

The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it’s very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer. – Thomas J. Watson

Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. – Stephen Covey

Trust is like a vase, once it’s broken, though you can fix it, the vase will never be same again. – Walter Anderson

To earn trust, money and power aren’t enough; you have to show some concern for others. You can’t buy trust in the supermarket. – The Dalai Lama

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. – Albert Einstein

The people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust. – Abraham Lincoln

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Trust is to human relationships what faith is to gospel living. It is the beginning place, the foundation upon which more can be built. Where trust is, love can flourish. – Barbara Smith

The existence of trust frees the human spirit to be creative, generous, and authentic instead of protective, cynical, and false. – Tom Haye

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead, you relax and float. – Alan Watts

Frequently Asked Questions

What is trust?

The belief in someone’s character, competence, strength, or truth is known as trust. To trust someone means to place your faith in them because you feel safe with them and are confident that they will not harm or violate you. The need to trust means one thing at its most basic level: you’re vulnerable. You don’t have complete control over your ability to meet your requirements or get the outcomes you desire. As a result, you become trusting.

What is the importance of trust?

Here are a few reasons why trust is important:

  • Trust Resolves Disputes 
  • Trust Reduces Stress
  • Trust creates Psychological Safety
  • Trust Encourages Communication 
  • Trust Improves Productivity
  • Trust creates Connections 
  • Trust Promotes Positivity

How to build trust in a relationship?

Some tips to build trust in a relationship are as follows:

  • Communicate 
  • Be Vulnerable
  • Learn From Your Mistakes 
  • Commit
  • Be Consistent

How to build trust in a workplace?

Some tips to build trust in a workplace are as follows:

  • Coaching
  • Create a Culture
  • Be Honest
  • Communicate
  • Soft skills

How do you rebuild trust?

Charles Feltman, an expert on trust at work has said that there are 7 steps to rebuild trust and invite the person to have the conversion you have been avoiding. These 7 steps are as follows: 

  1. Decide if you are willing to talk to the person and have the conversation.
  2. Identify the assessment(s) you are concerned with:  Sincerity, Reliability, Competence, and Care.
  3. Define the “standard” of trust.
  4. Understand the Standard
  5. Identify the specific actions or behaviors that have led to your assessment of distrust.
  6. Determine what you need from them in order for them to regain your trust.
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