According to an article in Psychology Today they ask the question “How do you provide evidence that you want your customers or staff or stakeholders to give you their trust?”.

And their answer is simple “You must first demonstrate that the relationship matters.”

Is this right? So what if the relationship doesn’t matter, does that give you an out? Are they arguing that I can be trustworthy with some because it matters, but not with others because it doent matter? Is trust therefore an elastic concept that can flex dependent on what I get out of it?

No of course not, and the article’s author is not arguing that either. Trust is not elastic. The degree of trust may vary but not the concept of trust. Trust is so embedded in our culture that we tend not to consider it, nor train our people in how to maximise the value that can be gained from enhancing trust.

If I may, here below are the suggestions from the article:

Trust grows in relationships when …

  • The relationships are mutually beneficial
  • When you bring the best of who you are into the relationship; the best includes core elements like integrity, tolerance, honesty, and trustworthiness
  • When you want the best for the other person
  • When the relationship is more important than any single outcome
  • When you invest time, communication, commitment, and authenticity
  • When you show genuine care, concern, and compassion
  • When you operate with appreciation, politeness, and inclusion
  • When you give more than you take, while still keeping your interests in view
  • When you help others achieve their aspirations, dreams, goals, or personal best
  • When you respect where others are coming from – knowledge, experience, state of mind, values, beliefs, needs

Trust is an essential component of business success and we disregard it and the consequences at our peril.