Lead a vivid life that does good

Tag: honesty

Do you trust me?

Trust what I say do value“Do you trust me?” I was asked with absolute sincerity.

It’s a huge question because trust binds all relationships together.

“Do you trust me?” is not a simple question, and in the years since I’ve come to realise that trust is made up of three things:

  • Trust what I say
  • Trust what I do
  • Trust what I value


Trust what I say:
This is all about truthfulness, and the ability to believe that this person is telling you the truth and that you can rely on their word.

When the person asked if I trusted them, my answer was 100% yes, because time and time again they had proved themselves truthful. But what they were really asking was do you trust what I do?

Trust what I do:
This is about trusting the persons decisions and actions. A person can be 100% truthful, but we are not sure about some of the decisions they make and we struggle to trust them in those areas.

Trusting what people do takes time and is complicated. We can trust a person will make the right decisions in most areas, and then question the decisions when they are given new responsibility, as we watch to see if they adapt to the new challenges.

Trust what I value:
When we value different things, and they are not discussed, then it can cause us to feel like we don’t trust each other, despite the fact we trust what they say and do. The challenge with trusting what we each value, is that we don’t generally do the hard work to understand each other’s values.

With one of my new direct reports, we worked out my value of ‘freedom’ was at odds with his value of ‘structure’. Neither of these values is wrong, but if we hadn’t noticed it and named it, then as we work together we could have begun to wonder if we could trust each other.

Nothing will kill connection, dampen joy or increase stress in any relationship more than where I fail to trust or unintentionally make people feel untrusted.

When we find that we are struggling to trust a person, dive in and ask…

Do I trust what they say?
Do I trust what they do?
Do I trust what they value?

Then go and have a sincere truthful conversation with them.

Because relationships are built on trust, and they are worth the effort.

Be more trusted, by first trusting.

I remember sitting with a couple of young entrepreneurs a Trustfew years ago as they asked my opinion on their business idea. The weird thing about the conversation is they tried to tell me without actually disclosing what their idea was. They were concerned that I might steal their idea. After playing that dance I got pretty candid with them and told them I had enough business ideas of my own that I will never do, so I don’t really need their ideas.

Furthermore, I told them to go talk to some other people, who might just be interested in stealing their idea. People with deep pockets who could out execute them, but may just make great partners.

Over the years I have met more than my fair share of people who have the wrong default position when it comes to trust. They choose, sometimes because of past hurt, to never trust people until the person has earned their complete trust.

This is so sad and not for the reason that they may expect.

You see, trust works both ways. If you trust me … I trust you … then you trust me more.

If I start trusting you and sense that you don’t trust me, I assume you are untrustworthy. That you lack integrity.

Merely by not trusting others, you may be seen by everyone around you, as a person not to be trusted.

I know that trust is easier said than done…

You will get hurt.

You will have your trust abused.

At times it will cost you money.

And yet … we should trust anyway.