Having the trust of people in our lives (work or personal) lays the foundation for those relationships to have and accomplish mutually beneficial things. That’s why you’ll find a myriad of blogs and articles written on this topic. But do we really earn trust, or is it given to us? Is there a standard price to earn trust that’s posted somewhere?
High performing sales teams will have mutual trust with their sales manager. The mutual trust manifests an allegiance among the team to perform well. The sales team will work hard because they want to prove their leader right for trusting them. Looking back over the course of my leadership career I can now reflect on when my willingness to give trust helped a relationship develop and when I might have slowed or prevented it.
Who is the trust for?
In my younger days, I had a high standard for people around me to be trustworthy. It served one purpose. To protect. It protected my feelings, my self-worth, and my things. When people acted trustworthy around me, my life was in order. It was easy to be in control. When they broke trust, my life got messy. I found one problem with this way of living. My standards made it difficult for some people to learn how to become trustworthy around me because I only accepted trustworthy people. My standards, while widely accepted and with good intention, were to help me, not others. This became a problem when my interest in the growth of others became important to me.
No matter how high a bar we set for people to earn our trust, they never really do. The power is not in their actions to earn our trust but in the GIVING our trust. We always hold this power and we can give it freely the moment we choose.
You might be asking, why would I give trust to someone undeserving or who have not proven themselves to earn it? Some people need others in their lives that will trust them while they learn to be trustworthy. They need people who will stand with them when they make mistakes, so they can learn how to trust themselves.
You might have salespeople and employees that you do not trust with customers, products or vendors. Maybe you don’t let them work on projects because they might fail. But maybe what they really need is for someone to believe in them and give them trust, and if they fail, trust them again. They might need more experience or practice to improve and part of that practice comes with a few mistakes.
If you want to transform the way people work for you, Give Trust. Be willing to be disappointed but expect to be rewarded because MOST people want to live up to the expectations of others and reward those who demonstrate that they care.
You’ve heard it over and over. Give enough people what they want, and you will automatically get what you want. Take a risk and give your trust to those who want and need it, not only to those who have earned it.