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Article 1 or 4 of the Readers Choice 2021

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

"Collaboration is the foundation of the standard of living we enjoy today. Trust is the glue."
Ram Charan

Whether personal or business, relationships are built and sustained based on trust. The strength of any relationship is in direct proportion to the level of mutual trust, which is maintained and strengthened by accountability. Although trust takes time to build and establish, it takes much longer to restore it once broken.

A growing sense of understanding must be present for trust to exist. Dr. Henry Cloud says, "Someone is going to trust you when they think and feel like you understand them and their needs. Instead of just persuading them, a key sales error as a first step, seek first to understand them. That requires listening…real listening. Listening without an agenda…so they know at a very subconscious and visceral level that you "get them."

This takes not only "active listening," but a deeper listening that is hallmarked by curiosity. This requires that you are not listening with an answer already in your head, but looking for the reality that they live in. When they feel like you are truly interested in their needs and their reality, that you truly understand their business...they take a step towards you. In a word, it says, "you care, and want to understand." No one wants to invest with someone who is clueless, or even neutral about what their real needs are. They want to invest when they know their needs are understood, as that begins to give confidence that those needs will be met." (1)

Trust is a Choice

There must be reasons for someone choosing to trust you. Think of it as permission granted to enter their world; access is denied if you're deemed unworthy to gain entry.

Relationships thrive on mutual accountability; that being said, trust doesn't mean being privy to all personal information. Instead, strong relationships are entered into one door at a time; each door requires permission equal to the level of trust you've already earned.

Stephen Covey says, "Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships."

Accountability Builds Trust

"Trust starts with truth and ends with truth."
Santosh Kalwar

Opening a relational trust account requires a deposit; regular deposits allow for interest to accrue. Honesty, keeping your word, and demonstrating thoughtfulness allow that reserve to increase. As trust continues to grow, so does a reserve of forgiveness for your missteps. Keeping relational trust accounts in good standing always requires being others-oriented.

Erasing the Deficits

"There is no overdraft protection in a relational trust account."

When forgiveness is delayed or withheld, when favors are denied, and a subtle air of tension hovers over conversations, your trust account is probably overdrawn. Broken trust takes much longer to repair than it took to build in the first place; there's always the possibility it's already beyond repair.

Building trust is always a two-way street; rebuilding it though more difficult, is no different though it may require the help of a third party. Erasing the deficits always begins with Self-awareness. A complete check-up from the neck-up is always the first step.

Examine yourself without excusing yourself

  • What exactly went wrong, and why were you doing or saying what you did?

  • Identify and understand your motives since they drive our behaviors.

  • Acknowledge any and all mistakes and errors in judgment.

  • Apologize in all sincerity and be patient; forgiveness can take some time.

Whether personal or business, repairing relationships takes time, it can be both challenging and humbling, but this requires respecting the other party's boundaries.

They will need assurances that they can depend on you before they trust you again.

Keep in mind that it's always a risk to trust again. Ernest Hemingway said, "The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." So, give them good reasons to do so.

"Keep your promises and be consistent. Be the kind of person others can trust."
Roy T. Bennett

End Notes

(1) The Anatomy of Trust, Dr. Henry Cloud

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co. ***

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