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Fragile Trust

I want to share a situation that is too often the norm in the business world: An important relationship between two colleagues was damaged because a circumstance arose due to poor communication and misinterpretation of actions. Whatever the circumstance, it resulted in a significant erosion of trust in each other.

Unfortunately, short term it was a no-win situation. Perhaps the only positive in the situation was the reminder about how fragile and important trust is.

Without trust, nothing of importance or lasting value can be achieved. Without trust, alignment and growth cannot occur. Without trust, the mission will fail, the vision will evaporate, and the values will crumble. Without trust, we empower no one, nor does anyone empower us.

Trust is the essential component enabling productive and successful work, happy families, supportive friendships, harmonious communities, mutually beneficial commerce and collaborative politics.

In the workplace, we sometimes unintentionally cripple productivity and stalemate success because we unjustly or too quickly decide that someone is untrustworthy. We should realize that situations quite often are not what they seem on the surface; therefore, it is important to understand context and specifics.

On the other hand, to earn trust we must seek to understand what others expect from us. We must “live out” behaviors that model our values, aligning our words and actions with our values so as not to violate those expectations.

Brian Tracy wrote: The glue that holds all relationships together – including the relationship between the leader and the led – is trust, and trust is based on integrity.”

If all leaders could mature on both sides of the equation – bestowing trust and earning trust – I believe the world would be transformed into a much better place.

How is your trust quotient?


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