Facets of Trust
[Article],  Leadership Skills

Facets of Trust – from Platitudes to Motivation

Trust is the basis for friendliness and friendship – for getting support and for being loved. Being trusted is giving us a feeling of happiness. But did you ever think in more detail about the origins? It will tell you a lot about yourself.

Trust is the basis for safety. And it can give us confidence. It can help to achieve things beyond our known capabilities. And also to be mentioned, trust can be misused.

It is to be seen in close relation to success. Growing trust into a business or a relation is seen as a prerequisite to succeed. To understand the details, we need to look for the matter. It is a matter of WHY we trust others. Or more precise, WHY we want to trust others.

To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” – George MacDonald Click To Tweet

We want to achieve something great

We have a plan. It is a great plan and it will make us successful; if we find others to contribute to this plan. We cannot execute it on our own, so we need to find other, which are reliable and implement the plan as it is. We cannot afford to control every single individual to do the right things. So we put trust in people to deliver according to plans.

We show trust in people to get things done, which we need from them. This kind of trust often is underpinned by incentives. You might sense that this is more command rather than trust.

Let’s move on!

We are running out of ideas

In this situation we miss a plan. We will get stuck if we do not find others to support in finding a way out. All we can contribute is a description of the situation or the problem. Whatever kind of solution others will bring to us, it is better than what we have with us. Without asking many questions, we turn over to suggestions. We trust that others will take us on.

We show trust in people to help us out of a critical situation. Often we feel like there is not much to lose. This kind of trust is more of a plea, sometimes in a quite desperate situations.

Next please!

We love to be amazed

Back to having a plan. We feel alright with the direction we are heading. Flexibility allows us to look for alternatives to the approach we are taking. We know that we can be better if we take sideways; we want to feed the leapfrog. When we set the framing, people ideate and come up with own ideas and results. We trust people will bring amazing results we never would have thought of.

We show trust in people to have own, superior ideas. The brain power of others can be facilitated by us to achieve better results. Trust is becoming encouragement.

What else?

We want to grow people

It does not matter if we have a plan. Others will be able to create plans in the same way we do. We put trust in people’s ability to do while we only offer support. This is different as we completely rely on people, but are not bound to specific plans. People will learn from uncontrolled actions, irrespective if they are right or wrong. Uncertainties can be addressed, but decisions are taken by others.

We show trust in people to learn from failures and continuously become better. Primary instruments are questions about the WHY and not the What, When, and How. Precious room for experiences in a safe environment and reliance are the result.

Sure! But…

We seek for safety

Sometimes we are uncertain about plans. The ability to have trust into our own ideas and procedures comes from our experience and what we perceive from others. If we lack confidence, we are looking for others to tell us. It seems advisable to listen to them; even if they are wrong. Knowing that we can trust others is giving us a backup. Safety.

We show trust in people to support us. Plans are left to others. Trust becomes habit.

Don’t trust everything you see. Even salt looks like sugar. Click To Tweet

Misuse of trust

Irrespective of having a plan or not, trust is set into a wrong context when looking for a result rather than for people. “I have full trust that you get things done” might be a noble thought, but it remains a result-oriented request. What if people fail? Often it will bring them into a difficult situation. It will put pressure on them and make them vulnerable and affected. Trust feels like a threat.

Trust always must support your own thinking. If it is in conflict with own thoughts, something is going wrong. You should leave this situation whenever possible. Start by asking WHY your thoughts are left away.

Synopsis: Trust in people, not in plans!

Let’s get back to the question, what trust tells about yourself. The next time before you tell someone “I put trust in you”, ask yourself the question WHY you would do so. Is it the need for support with your plans or do you have interest in supporting the person. Are you looking for friendship or do you look at yourself?

Let’s be radically open in this point. Talks about trust as basis for success can be seen this or that way. The other one(s) will know if you are talking to them or if you are talking about your plans. They have a good sense for platitudes and real motivation.

Trust as an instrument to improve plans will make people want to see a proof, search for incentives, or run for individual agendas. You will end up in a complex system of dependencies or mistrust. It will slow down success rather than excel.

Instead, make trust a basis for your relations. If people feel trusted, they will want to support you. By then you can have the cake and eat it.

Leave a Reply