Trust: Long Earned But Quickly Burned

If there is no trust there is no relationship. Period! Trust goes hand in hand with love. Without trust love cannot long exist and, if love cannot exist, you are left with only distrust and fear. If fear is allowed to reign in a relationship, whether it be personal or organizational, it will always lead to diminished performance in every category. Without trust, leadership is like a dog chasing its tail… it will expend a lot of energy, but it will never get anywhere. There will be no foundation on which to build. Trust is quite simply the glue that holds relationships together.

Another important aspect of trust is that it is something that must be earned. It cannot be coerced and it certainly cannot be demanded. I have heard people say many times, “Just trust me on this”. That is always a red flag for me. Why? Because if you have already earned my trust you won’t have to ask for it, and you certainly won’t have to remind me to trust you! Asking me to trust you is a sure sign that I might not want to. The fact is, it takes time to establish and build a trusting relationship. It is not something you can command someone to do, nor should they necessarily take you at your word either until you have proven that you are trustworthy.

My grandfather used to tell me that it took a long while to establish trust, but only a short while to lose it. At the time I didn’t realize how true those words were. Continue reading »

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