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The Fundamental Truths of Trust: Part 1 of 5

Building trust is often thought of as being a simple thing. But in fact, it can be anything but easy. Trust is a complex concept. It is often misunderstood and very frequently overlooked as a key element in human relationships.

Over the next few posts, we will take a deeper look at each of the “10 Fundamental Truths of Trust”. In doing so, we will try to break down the complexities of trust and take a deeper look at how trust is created so that it can be more easily understood and managed.

Fundamental Truth #1: Trust Requires Trusting and Being Trusted

Most people refer to the word trust or say that they trust in something when what they really mean is something else. People may talk about trusting as being willing to take a risk. People may also say they can be trusted or that they are trustworthy.

It is very important to understand the distinction between trust and being trustworthy.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Trust is defined as: Reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.

The term Trustworthy is defined as: worthy of confidence: dependable.

Usually, leading with trust requires you to focus on becoming a trustworthy person yourself. However, it is also important to understand that in order to gain trust, you must earn trust. Taking a risk as the person who is doing the actual trusting is a good way to demonstrate that you are capable of being trusted in return.

Fundamental Truth #2: Trust is Personal

When we talk about trust, it typically refers to people. You can trust other things, like a company or a brand for example, but when you do, you are often just focusing on one part of trust – dependability.

When we talk about trust as it relates to people, we think about how reliable they have been based on our past experiences. We also focus on if they have been sensitive to our needs, or if they have our best interests at heart.

Even when we say an organization is credible or focused on our interests, the reference is usually based on our interaction with the people in the company. At root, trust is personal.

Trust is very difficult to define. People know when it exists and   when it does not – but are not able to define why or how it exists.

The concept of   building trust is one that is even more complicated to explain.

By breaking down the complexities of trust into 10 Fundamental Truths, it is our aim to help you better understand the concept of trust and how it plays such an influential role in our daily lives.

(This information is based on Chapter 1 in “The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook” written by Charles H. Green and Andrea P. Howe.)