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September 26, 2022

A Trust Crisis

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Our lives are improved by the presence of others. As much as we’re living out our own passions and missions, we cannot do it alone. We require other people to really make the most out of life. Humans are inherently social creatures that require each other to survive and proliferate. We’re meant to be cooperative, collaborative, and collective.

But the problem is, right now many people don’t trust each other. In an age where information is abundant and unreliable, it’s hard to know what is true and what is not. Not only do we have a collective distrust about information, but we’re also hesitant to trust each other. A shocking Harvard Business Review statistic states that 58% of employees trust a stranger more than their boss. This suggests that we’re in a very skeptical chapter of human where we’re questioning other people’s intentions.

When you reflect on a thought like this, it’s very easy to remove yourself from it and think of yourself as the exception. I want to challenge that thought and encourage you to think about how this applies for you.

So the question becomes, how you can cultivate trust-based relationships? In other words, how can you confidently trust other people more, and how can you be more trustworthy? This is a complex topic but here are a few things to think about.

First, be honest. It’s that simple. People trust others who tell the truth. This means that when you’re struggling with something, voice it. When you were wrong about something, admit it. When you’re feeling something, express it. The more your truth is out in the open for others to see, the less skeptical they’ll be about what you’re holding back (and the more trust you’ll earn).

Then second, hold space. Give people the permission to be themselves without judgment or criticism. Let them feel accepted for who they are. This creates trust because when people get more comfortable with you, they feel like they can confide in you. And through the principles of commitment and consistency the rest of their psyche will be pulled to act in congruence with that.

As with anything, the key to having more trust in your life and relationships is to go first. Set the tone by going there yourself, and you'll see how willing people are to meet you there.

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