“Trust is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.” – Oxford Dictionary

Many of you know the story of this photograph. Yet it bears repeating. I am with my dog Frieda, who was an abused rescue. She had tremendous fear of men and was not properly socialized as a pup. She is sitting on a slatted iron bench, in the middle of the campus at Colorado College. Multiple factors that would send any socially skittish dog into high reactivity. Yet, as you can see in this image, she has showed me her throat and if you look you can see her joy as her right ear is slightly curled. This picture always gives me a lump in my throat as it embodies total trust! What a joy to be the woman she believed me to be. I am grateful to Tricia Turpenoff for capturing this magical moment.

My experience is that trust changes everything!! I love this perspective, trust is like oxygen. It’s all around us and it is absolute necessary for living and thriving. When we live in a trusting environment, we take it for granted. We hardly notice it or realize that it is there. Yet, take that away and we are suddenly left gasping! That is the essence of vulnerability!

In the wake of the pandemic, the political environment, the influence the internet plays into our belief systems, and our social disconnect, lack of trust has grown. As we learn to trust and rebuild trust that has been shaken, understand it takes courage to repair it. It takes work and the willingness to be vulnerable, yet it can be done.

Edie Weinstein has a very clever acronym on what trust is. It is a simple way to find our way back to being more trustworthy. Trustworthiness is the fastest way to rebuild trust. It is about personal integrity.

~T.R.U.S.T. ~

Truth – factual, not relying on perception.
Truth: (Betsy-ized) verifying the facts, not just assuming! It is a principle, belief, idea, or statement that can be backed up. Not a bunch of hyperbole (we call that Hyper Bowl in our family, kinda like the Super Bowl. Something that is over the top!)

Reliable – consistency, walking the talk, accountability
Reliable: (Betsy-ized) Follow through on what you say you will do. This creates stability. If someone continually falls short of their commitments, we will doubt their reliability. Reliability is closely related to integrity and trustworthiness.

Understanding – fueled by empathy. Can I walk a mile in your moccasins?
Understanding: (Betsy-ized) This is compassion, thoughtfulness and a listening heart. It also sees the other person’s competence to make it through whatever is before them. Believing the best of the other person and extending grace towards them.

Sincerity – coming from the heart as an example of true caring about another person.
Sincerity: (Betsy-ized) We can dismiss the cliché: people don’t care what you know until they know you care. Yet there is great wisdom in these words. Coming genuinely into the relationship without duplicity, it is showing up with honest intention.

Time – developed over a series of moments with proven reliability.
Time: (Betsy-ized) Some of us go through life impatient, ready to jump into insta-action and have more energy than good for us. Our inner dialogue is come on, come on!! There are others who need to have context and time to ponder. Trust takes time to develop and rebuild. Breathing and respecting another’s pace/timing is respectful and will reap a harvest for healing!

So what?

Measuring the trust in a relationship is a gauge to the potential that relationship has to succeed. Research has shown that people/teams who trust one another, rarely talk about trust. Yet people/teams where there is a lack of trust , it’s a common topic of conversation. Pay attention to this as it will indicate your next steps. These elements can support you gain or rebuild trust, which will impact your ongoing well-being and success.

If you have questions about trust, let’s schedule a call to chat about why trust matters!

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