Author David Horsager, explains that trust is tangible, learnable, and measureable. Trust is a confident belief in someone or something to do what is right, deliver what is promised, and to be the same every time in spite of circumstances.
Horsager identifies twelve barriers to trust: conflict of interest, threat of litigation, lack of loyalty, increasing examples of others untrustworthiness, threat of exposure, lack of control over technology, fear of the unknown, negative experiences, individualism, differences between people, desire for instant gratification, and a focus on the negative.
The eight pillars of trust form the framework for learning to build trust and overcoming the twelve barriers. These all take time and are not quick fixes for any trust issue. Trust is built over time.
Clarity. Clarity starts with honesty. People trust the clear and distrust the vague. Communicate clearly and frequently.
Compassion. Think beyond yourself. There are four keys ways we show we care: listen, show appreciation, be engaged, and serve others.
Character. Have high morals and be consistent in your thoughts, words, and actions. Always ask, “Am I doing the right thing?”
Competency. Humility is the first step in learning. Create a regular plan for staying competent and capable.
Commitment. Great leadership demands sacrifice. The people who stick with you when things are tough are the ones you can really trust.
Connection. Trust is about relationships. In every interaction we increase or decrease trust. Be genuine, be grateful and avoid gossip.
Contribution. You must deliver results to be trusted. Give attention, resources, time, opportunity, and help.
Consistency. Probably the most important pillar of all as it gives meaning to all of the other pillars. You will never get one big chance to be trusted in your life; you will get thousand of small ones. Just one inconsistency can change people’s perspective.
Horsager notes that in this flat world, because we can connect with so many, we have a hard time cultivating depth. Trust at its best is deep, making it difficult to gain the trust edge. In response we need to be even more intentional about developing the pillars of trust on a global level finding common ground and showing ourselves to be trustworthy.
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