We’d like to be able to trust more people more. And we’d all like more people to trust us more too.
These are universally true statements, even for those who have lots of trusting relationships.
While this is true, it only considers part of what trust even means.
If you stop to think about it, you will realize that I am talking about trust as a noun – as something that exists – in this case something we’d like more of.
But in order to get more of the noun, we have to think about the other part of what trust is.
Trust is also a verb; an action, it’s something that we do. We’ve all said it, “I trust them.” If trust were only a noun, that statement wouldn’t make sense – no more sense than “I car them, I house them, or I cow them.”
Trust then, is both a noun, and a verb. And the truth is that the more we trust others (the verb), the more trust that exists (the noun). (Tweet That).
So, setting aside trust for a second, let’s think about where our actions come from or what drives our actions.
Our actions come from our thoughts and observations – what we think about leads us to act in alignment with those thoughts. And our thoughts come from our beliefs – what we believe drives what we think about. So that leaves us with:
So let’s put trust into that framework:
What we believe about people -> What we think about and notice -> The actions we choose -> The amount of trust between people
If you want more trust, act in trusting ways. And in order to act in trusting ways, we must ultimately believe people are worthy of our trust. Here is my powerful point:
Your belief in others creates your set point which influences your actions, which in turn influences the amount of trust that will exist with the other person.
So if you want more trust in a relationship or with a group, change your belief, and chances are, the trust level will follow.
Yes, I know this can be risky – you could believe someone is worthy of trust, and when you act accordingly, you will be let down, hurt, or worse. And I know that there may be times and situations where that risk isn’t worth the possible reward. If you are walking in a dark alley in an unfamiliar city, trust you might keep the trust set point low.
It truly is a risk/reward decision, and if you want the rewards of higher trust, recognize that you have only two choices. You choose to trust the other person more, or wait for them to do it. If no one changes their belief, no one’s behaviors change and the trust level will remain low.
The choice is yours. Make whatever choices you wish, but know that your set point will determine the amount of trust in your relationships at work and everywhere else.