“Trust brings a higher level of communication and a higher level of commitment and accountability.”Bruce Arians
You cannot advance change without understanding the importance of trust. Every positive change that has ever occurred in human history has happened because of the development of personal relationships built on trust. Trust is a necessary component in turning shared values into shared action.
Trust doesn’t happen overnight. It develops over time. If we trust each other, it doesn’t simply mean that I believe what you say. When you consistently do what you say you are going to do, it builds trust. When you demonstrate honesty, kindness, transparency and humility, it builds trust. Trust is created by actions, not by saying, “trust me.”
Because it is intensely personal, trust can be complex. It can be influenced as much by intuition, and gut feeling, as it is on logic and evidence. Trust is not necessarily an either/or proposition. It can exist on a continuum. You can share values and goals with someone, but disagree with the means by which they want to achieve those goals. Your level of trust informs your tolerance for risk, or your willingness to invest time and energy.
Trust is not transferable. Just because A trusts B, and B trusts C, it doesn’t mean that C will automatically trust A. The trust between B and C can, however, serve to open a door to a trusted relationship between A and C. Trust can also fade without regular, reliable, trustworthy acts,
Misinformation erodes trust. Example: Outlandish, unsubstantiated medical, or scientific claims on social media serve to erode public trust in science. There isn’t a tremendous return on investment trying to combat the rantings of the misinformation echo chamber. When it seems difficult to tune out those rants, just ignore them, and remember that change happens at the center.
Finally, remember that trust is not about marketing, or propaganda. It is about developing authentic human relationships and having each other’s backs. In the words of psychotherapist and author Thomas Moore: “We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.”