At the foundation of any real relationship, whether personal or professional, is trust. In fact, a relationship itself cannot sustain or survive without it. Imagine asking a friend for a favor and not trusting in the fact that they would actually deliver – what’s the point of asking in the first place? Or, in a business transaction, when you verbally agree upon terms – if you don’t trust the other party to honor their commitment, why would you want to do business with them? It’s a pretty straightforward concept to get your head around.
The notion of trust is something that is ingrained into you from childhood. For example, “sharing” is a form of trust because at some point, the other party will reciprocate and you trust that will happen (hence, why you share in the first place). Giving people the “benefit of the doubt” – yet another example because you may not really know the other person but you are extending trust to them so to determine whether you will do it again at a future time. Whether you realize it or not, our entire society (for that matter, human race), survives because it operates on trust.
At the heart of trust, there are 3 inter-connected components that must be present in order to realize its true benefits – character, competence, and empowerment.
Would you trust someone that you believed didn’t have good character? Would you trust someone to do something for you when you believe they are not competent? Would you trust someone to deliver on something when they had no power to do what it is you needed? Alternatively, would you trust someone that was of good character but wasn’t competent and not empowered to deliver on something you needed?
The point being is all three components must co-exist in any trust-based relationship – otherwise, there are impending consequences that are just waiting to be realized. Even in relationships that have natural embedded trust (e.g. parent / child / sibling relationships), the above components exist – what may vary is the tolerance allowed in the event of missteps.
So, as you look forward to developing new relationships or re-examining existing ones, be mindful of the three components outlined above; specifically from your vantage point but also from how others would view their relationship with you
To your continued success…