On the Subject of Trust

How trustworthy are you? What does it mean when we say we can be trusted? In any situation, whether your position is leadership or front line, parent or neighbor, your influence is enormous if you are trusted. But if you are not trusted, it doesn’t matter what your title is or how much authority you are supposed to have, your influence is virtually zero.

 

You see, when you are trusted, it means that you can be relied on. Relied on to do what? The right thing, whatever that may be. You build trust by sharing information that is timely, accurate, objective and complete. You build trust by keeping your word, doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it. How can you trust anyone who is mostly talk and no action?

 

Trust is fragile, too. It must be earned, and re-earned. Even small omissions or errors can damage it quickly. If you are trustworthy, it says a lot about your character. It means you have integrity – your values and your behavior are aligned, and you stand up for what you believe in.

 

If you make a mistake, you don’t cover it up or try to make it look like someone else’s fault, even if it’s going to make you look bad. And when you make decisions, you make them after thoughtfully considering alternatives and consequences. When you are trusted, other people listen to you, ask for your advice, and feel confident that you can be relied on. When you are worthy of that trust, you feel accountable to use your influence responsibly.

 

In today’s world, trust is a precious commodity, far more valuable than gold or diamonds. Think about it: Who do you trust, and why? And who has placed their trust in you? What do you do to justify that trust?