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Trust. You cannot have a healthy relationship without it. To think about how important trust really is, I am sure all of us can bring to mind a scenario where our trust has been broken. How do we develop trust in the first place? Can that trust that has been broken be rebuilt?
This article explores how to build trust in a variety of relationships, including practical tips and some activities.
Please note that the scientific literature on building trust is limited. Whilst there is lots of research into the importance of trust and what it is, there is very little on practical steps that can be taken to build trust. Therefore, much of the research behind the following article is available on the web.
This article contains:
- How to Build Trust: 12 General Tips
- How to Build Trust with Your Partner in a Marriage or Relationship
- Rebuilding Trust after Cheating, Affairs and Infidelity
- How to Develop Self-Trust
- Trust Building Games and Exercises for Group Therapy
- Building Trust and Credibility in Business as a Leader
- 10 Trust-Building Activities for Teams and Employees in the Workplace
- How to Build Trust with Customers, Patients and Clients
- The 5 Best Books on Building Trust
- 12 Quotes on Building Trust
- A Take-Home Message
How to Build Trust: 12 General Tips
The following suggestions about how to build trust were provided by Carthage Buckley (n.d.). Buckley is a stress and performance coach with over ten years of international experience working with entrepreneurs, executives and ambitious professionals. Here are her suggestions:
1. Be true to your word and follow through with your actions
The whole point of building trust is for others to believe you when you say that you will do something. Keep in mind, however, that part of building trust is not only keeping promises that you make, but also to stay away from committing to promises that you are not able to keep.
Furthermore, if you always keep your word, this shows others what you expect and they will be prone to treating you with the same respect – developing further trust in the process.
2. Learn how to effectively communicate with others
Poor communication skills are the main reason why relationships break down. This includes being clear about what you have or have not committed to – that is, what has been agreed upon. Building trust is not without risk. It involves allowing others the chance to prove that they are trustworthy and for you, taking the chances to show that you are also trustworthy.
Effective communication is the key – because sometimes the message that you set out to send may not be the message that is received.
3. Remind yourself that it takes time to build and earn trust
Building trust is a daily commitment. Don’t make the mistake of expecting too much too soon. In order to build trust, make small steps and take on small commitments and then, as trust grows, you will be more at ease with making and accepting bigger commitments. Put trust in. You will generally get trust in return.
4. Take time to make decisions and think before acting too quickly
Only make commitments that you are happy to agree to. Have the courage to say “no” – even though someone else may be disappointed. If you agree to something and can’t follow through, this would be worse for everyone.
Be clear about what you have on your plate, and also know exactly what you are committed to. Being organized is a necessary part of building trust with family, friends, and colleagues. It enables you to make a clear decision as to whether you take on or decline the requests you may receive.
5. Value the relationships that you have – and don’t take them for granted
A large part of trust is the result of consistency. We tend to have the most trust in people who are there for us consistently through the good times and the bad. Consistently showing that you are there for someone will be an effective way to build trust.
6. Develop your team skills and participate openly
When you take an active part in a team and make contributions, people are more likely to respect and trust you. It is imperative when building trust within a team to show your willingness to trust others.
Being open and willing to make contributions demonstrates this. When building trust, it is important to engage. In other words, you take what others say into consideration, show that you are listening actively, suggest your thoughts and feedback respectfully and demonstrate that you are willing to be part of the team.
7. Always be honest
The message you convey should always, always be the truth. If you are caught out telling a lie, no matter how small, your trustworthiness is diminished.
8. Help people whenever you can
By helping another person, even if it provides no benefit to you, this allows you to experience the indirect benefit of improved trust. Authentic kindness helps to build trust.
9. Don’t hide your feelings
Being open about your emotions can be a very effective way to build trust. Furthermore, if people know that you care, they are more likely to trust you.
Emotional intelligence plays a role in building trust. By acknowledging your feelings, learning the lessons that prevail and taking productive action, means that you don’t deny reality – this is the key to building trust.
10. Don’t always self-promote
Recognizing the efforts of others and showing your appreciation shows your talent for leadership and teamwork, and therefore enables you to build trust. On the other hand, if someone doesn’t demonstrate their appreciation for a good deed, they appear selfish. Selfishness destroys trust.
Acknowledgment and appreciation play an important role in building trust and maintaining good relationships.
11. Always do what you believe to be right
If you act simply to seek approval, you automatically sacrifice your own values and beliefs. This means that you don’t trust yourself, or your values and your beliefs. By always doing what you believe is right, even when others disagree, they will respect your honesty.
Interestingly, when building trust, you do need to be willing to occasionally upset others. People will not trust those who simply say whatever it is that they think others want to hear.
12. Admit your mistakes
When you attempt to hide your mistakes, people know that you are being dishonest.
By being open – after all, everyone makes mistakes – you show your vulnerable side, and this helps build trust with other people. This is because they perceive you to be more like them.
If you pretend that you don’t make mistakes, you make it harder for another person to trust you because you have created an unnecessary difference between the two of you. When all that a person sees is the “perfection” you project – they will not trust you.
How to Build Trust with Your Partner in a Marriage or Relationship
Andrea Bonior (Ph.D.), a licensed clinical psychologist, keynote speaker, professor, and best-selling author shares the following advice for building trust with a partner in a marriage or relationship.
She suggests that trust is necessary to be able to be emotionally intimate, and is an essential part of a healthy, close relationship (Bonior, 2018). It is a lot easier, and takes much less time, to lose a sense of trust compared to building it up.
To develop trust with your partner, “say what you mean and mean what you say” (Bonior, 2018).
As young children, we quickly learn to tell if someone is being untruthful. It may be that someone doesn’t follow through with their promises, or a parent who makes idle threats. Self-protection evolved to help us survive, and so we will be able to notice the “proverbial boy crying wolf” (Bonior, 2018). Then, we fine-tune our expectations and behavior by learning not to be trusting in the person, to protect ourselves from being let down again.
When trying to develop trust in a relationship, don’t say things that you won’t follow through with. For example, the parent who always threatens to make their child leave a situation when they’re misbehaving but never actually does (Bonior, 2018).
It’s also important not to say things that don’t accurately reflect how you feel. Consistently telling what may seem as small lies will result in the other person no longer trusting what you say (Bonior, 2018).
Another aspect of building trust is to gradually be vulnerable in the relationship. Trust develops when people rely on one another. In the relationships we have, we build trust through vulnerability (Bonior, 2018). Part of this will happen over time automatically through our daily interactions – such as feeling assured that our partner will be there if they have offered to pick us up from work (Bonior, 2018).
It is also important to be emotionally vulnerable (Bonior, 2018). Building trust requires you to open up with the potential risk of being hurt. This could be revealing the things that scare you even though they’re not dangerous. Or revealing aspects of yourself that you don’t consider “attractive” (Bonior, 2018). Therefore, in other words, trust is developed when our partner has the chance to let us down or hurt us, but they don’t.
Respect plays an important role in trust. If our partner belittles us or views us condescendingly or with contempt, this is one of the most emotionally enduring ways that they can harm us, and it destroys trust (Bonior, 2018). Any relationship, even that between a sales assistant and customer, involves a basic level of trust (Bonior, 2018). In actual fact, maintaining that basic level of respect becomes even more important the more emotionally intimate the relationship is (Bonior, 2018).
Unfortunately, we occasionally show our partner our worst. We may be more prone to lash out to someone we are close to than we would that sales assistant. We lose sight of the fact that respect is even MORE significant with those we love due to the harm that lack of respect over time will cause (Bonior, 2018).
It’s not necessary to be perfectly polite all the time with your partner. However, remember that every time you treat your partner in a way that breaches a basic level of respect, you will damage the connection you have. Plus, it will make it more challenging for your partner to trust you over time (Bonior, 2018).
To build trust with your partner, be prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. Bonior (2018) gives the example of a person and their doctor, who they have been seeing for ten years and who they trust and respect.
She describes comparing how you feel about the trusted doctor’s opinion with how you feel about the opinion of a doctor who you have never seen before. Whilst the person may be prepared to have confidence in the doctor because of their medical qualifications, it is likely that they will feel a lot more comfortable with the doctor who they have developed trust in. It may even be easier for them to hear difficult or surprising medical news from that doctor because they are prepared to “give them the benefit of the doubt” due to the trust and history they have (Bonior, 2018).
Another way to build trust in a relationship is to express your feelings in a functional, helpful way (Bonior, 2018). An important component of emotional intimacy is being able to talk about feelings without shouting, verbally attacking or shutting down the conversation (Bonior, 2018).
Therefore, to build trust, develop ways to discuss difficult feelings that are collaborative and respectful. In order to build trust with a partner, you need to give them the chance to connect with the ‘real’ you – which also includes who you are at an emotional level (Bonior, 2018).
Finally, to build trust with your partner in a marriage or relationship, it is important to consider reciprocity (Bonior, 2018). In other words, be willing to give as well as receive. It is necessary for both partners to feel comfortable with the levels of giving and receiving.
Rebuilding Trust after Cheating, Affairs, and Infidelity
If you have been lied to or hurt, it can take a very long time to learn to trust again (Buckley, n.d.). Perhaps you automatically think you should instigate a break-up. However, others may wish to keep a relationship going, believing that this is no reason to give up on trusting people – there are many good, trustworthy people out there. How can you develop trust again?
Where trust has been broken, such as after cheating, and you are trying to rebuild trust, it may not be wise to cast all your doubts aside in one go (Bonior, 2018). You may even have to check up on your partner to a certain extent, in order to prevent further harm. However, if you still hope to rebuild trust, you will need to let some of your doubts go, or suspend them, to give your partner the chance to come through for you (Bonior, 2018). Then, if they don’t, it is them who is disrupting the trust-building.
As in any relationship, but especially after cheating, healthy communication plays an important role. Each partner should be able to talk honestly, and if an argument ensues, both people should ‘fight fair’ without bringing up the past (Love is Respect, 2014). To rebuild trust, keep in mind that your relationship may look different after cheating, affairs or infidelity. However, it is also possible to build something new. Both partners need to be willing to build a new relationship together (Love is Respect, 2014).
It is extremely challenging to remain in the present and move towards the future after someone cheats. It can be easier to remain in or worry about the past (Love is Respect, 2014). Whilst the person has the right to feel hurt, angry or sad, if they cannot move on from those feelings it may be a sign that the relationship cannot continue.
It is important, although difficult, to trust yourself. Learning to trust yourself and your own feelings and being reassured that you will be ok moving forward is the key to being able to have any healthy relationship (Love is Respect, 2014).
What about if you’re the one who cheated? Perhaps you cheated on your partner. But you have both agreed to try and make the relationship work… what do you need to do?
To begin with, take responsibility for your actions. Admit to your behavior and assume responsibility for it. Also, have an understanding of how your behavior has led your partner to feel. Reflect. Think about what made you decide to cheat (Love is Respect, 2014).
Keep promises. To show that you can be trusted, follow through with what you are going to do. If you say you will call? Be sure to call. Space is important. Give your partner space – they have every right to feel hurt and angry about you cheating and to express their feelings (Love is Respect, 2014).
The process of rebuilding trust takes time. It can’t happen overnight. At the same time, keep in mind that your partner has no right to treat you abusively. Despite breaking their trust, you still have the right to your own privacy (Love is Respect, 2014).
Perhaps the most important aspect of rebuilding trust after a partner has cheated is to communicate openly (Love is Respect, 2014). Talk. Truly listen to each other. Both partners should think about what their partner needs. Partners should openly share their needs, and consider whether they are willing to meet those needs. If either party feels that they are not willing or able to meet their partner’s needs, they may need to seriously reconsider whether continuing the relationship is the right thing to do (Love is Respect, 2014).
How to Develop Self-Trust
So, the fact of the matter is that you cannot count on anybody 100%. However, there is one person we know that we can count on…ourselves. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live” (Fahkry, 2016).
Self-trust. An important concept. Self-trust enables you to protect your own needs and safety (Tartakovsky, 2018). It allows you to have faith that you will make it through challenging situations and can practice kindness rather than pursuing perfection. Self-trust includes having an awareness of your thoughts and feelings and being able to express them (Tartakovsky, 2018).
Honor your emotions. Avoid relying on the opinions of others (Fahkry, 2016). This allows you to develop a trust in your own ability to handle whatever arises. Self-trust is acquired by nurturing our deepest thoughts (Fahkry, 2016).
Self-trust includes living according to your own standards and ethics – knowing when to put your own needs first. Knowing that you can endure mistakes. Self-trust also enables you to pursue what it is that you want.
Avoid people who undermine your self-trust. Often, these people use you. They don’t want you to succeed (Tartakovsky, 2018). Although as children we cannot control the negative people we have in our lives, as adults, we can certainly consider whether people support us and whether we actually want them in our lives (Tartakovsky, 2018).
Keep promises to yourself. Honor the commitments you make yourself, whether it be pursuing goals you set or following your dreams (Fahkry, 2016). An important part of this is making promises to yourself and keeping them (Tartakovsky, 2018). Examples of commitments to make are to create and sustain a personal boundary. Or, go to bed earlier. Visit the doctor for a check-up (Tartakovsky, 2018). Building self-trust also includes coming to be your own best friend.
Speak kindly to yourself. Everyone has a harsh inner critic. Perhaps the voice belongs to a parent or a teacher from your past. Maybe they conveyed the message to you that you weren’t good enough. However, you can reduce or even get rid of the habit of listening to your inner critic. Try being more kind to yourself.
For example, if you make a mistake you may immediately think, “I’m so stupid!”. Instead try saying to yourself, “that’s ok. It was just a minor error”. Showing yourself understanding when you do make a mistake also enables you to show a greater understanding of others when they make mistakes (Tartakovsky, 2018).
Self-trust is not about perfection. It is being able to have faith in your own capacity to overcome a slip-up or failure. By connecting with our inner guidance, self-trust is nurtured through us connecting with our emotional wellbeing, and pay attention to any disturbances we may notice (Fahkry, 2016). Check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “how am I doing?”. Differentiate between what is going on inside of us rather than simply dismissing an emotional disturbance (Fahkry, 2016).
In other words, be mindful of your inner experiences (Fahkry, 2016). Self-trust develops when we honor all of ourselves – regardless of whether we approve or disapprove of certain parts of us.
Trust Building Games and Exercises for Group Therapy
Jan Brinn, from Michigan State University (2014), shares suggestions for building trust and creating a safe environment. Trust-building activities (or, ‘icebreakers’) can be helpful in situations such as group therapy when bonding or building relationships is required. The purpose of these exercises and games is to enable participants to discover similarities and differences between the group and to develop empathy and respect.
“Chairs in a circle”
Create a circle of chairs, and ask group members to sit down. Invite one person to stand in the middle and take the chair away – so there is one less chair than people in the group. Alternatively, the therapist can be a ‘model’ and their chair removed.
The person in the middle shares something about themselves that other group members may relate to. For example, “My name is Jayne and I have been to Japan”. If the other members of the group either agree with the statement or have experienced the same thing, they stand up. Everyone standing (including the person in the middle) tries to find a seat on the remaining chairs.
Whoever is left standing is the new leader, and gets to make a statement. A variation on this activity is to set a theme/topic for the statements.
Put the therapy participants into small groups, and ask them to talk about what they have in common. Encourage them to think of unusual things, as well as the obvious ones. Such as eye color.
Let the group know that they have 15 minutes to come up with as many common facts as they can. The group with the most things in common wins the game.
“Tower of Trust”
Divide participants into groups, and explain that they have 15 minutes to build the tallest tower that they can, using materials such as 50 – 100 plastic cups, or 10 – 25 pipe-cleaners. After 15 minutes, measure each tower. Which one is tallest? Then, ask each group to explain the process they used to build the tower, the challenges that they faced and what they learned about working together as a trusting team.
“Fear in a Hat”
Once a safe and trusting environment has been established, this activity can be used to build empathy.
Provide the group with a hat, pieces of paper and writing materials. Each member of the group then records their personal fears anonymously on a piece of paper and places them into the hat. Then, each person takes a turn of reading the fear aloud and explaining how this may make the person feel. After all fears have been read, discuss how experiencing empathy, and having common fears may help teams to build trust.
Building Trust and Credibility in Business as a Leader
AllBusiness.com is one of the world’s largest online resources for small business. It delivers practical expertise and advice from some leaders in small business. Alice Scarlet is one such leader. The following is drawn from her advice on how to build trust and credibility as a leader.
Respect. So important. A leader cannot earn credibility and expect others to automatically respect them if they do not show others the respect that they deserve. Furthermore, keep in mind that a leader is not respected due to his or her power. It comes about by honorable use of that power (Scarlet, n.d.).
To earn credibility, a leader must first show that they are trustworthy. This cannot be proved via words. The leader needs to put themselves in positions that show their trusting activities so that followers can believe what they see (Scarlet, n.d.).
To become a credible leader, you need to make your loyalty to your people evident. If a problem occurs and rather than blaming someone else, you take responsibility, you can instantly earn a person’s loyalty. You must also be accountable for your actions. Therefore, if you do make an error – take ownership of the mistake. Fix it (if you can). Then, move on. A team will not trust and respect you if you place the blame on them, or allow them to take the burden of your mistakes (Scarlet, n.d.).
A credible leader keeps their goals in mind and always tries to find the best way to make those goals a reality. People will only follow someone who has a set goal or ‘destination’. Therefore, part of building trust as a leader is to focus on what the team needs to achieve in the long run, and how to take the team to the next level (Scarlet, n.d.).
Don’t rely on words or speeches to win people over. Instead, focus on your actions to show people what you are capable of. Credible leaders are prepared to work hard to show others how things are done, or how goals are achieved (Scarlet, n.d.).
In order to build trust and credibility, show your expertise through your work. Don’t simply rely on the expertise you already have. A credible leader continues learning throughout their career to stay abreast of new trends and to stay ahead of others (Scarlet, n.d.).
Last, but certainly not least… honesty. It is imperative to rely on honesty in order to build trust and credibility as a leader. Basically, if a leader is dishonest, they lose trust. If they lost trust? They lose respect. Eventually, everything will fall apart. Make honesty the building block of credibility.
10 Trust-Building Activities for Teams and Employees in the Workplace
Trust builds stronger, more productive teams and employees. The following activities were accessed from TINYpulse, a site which more than 1000 companies use to engage and develop high performing teams. They were suggested by Justin Reynolds (2017).
1. Perfect square
Give employees a rope to hold, and then ask them to stand in a circle. Then, blindfold them and ask them to drop the rope. Tell the employees to take a few steps away from where they are standing. Remove the blindfolds, and ask them to go back to the rope and try to work together to lay the rope out as a perfect square.
2. Back-to-back drawing
In pairs, have employees sit back-to-back. The idea is that they cannot see one another. One employee is given a blank pad and pencil, and the other is provided with a picture of an obscure shape. Then, it is the task of the employee who has the picture to instruct the one with the paper what to draw.
3. Night trail
Put together a mini obstacle course. Then, blindfold the employees and ask them to form a line. Then, give them a rope and ask them to hold onto it. The team then tries to find their way through the obstacle course by relying on one another.
4. Trust pinball (suitable to larger workplaces)
Form groups of 10, at a minimum. Ask employees to stand in a circle. Then, select one person to be the ‘pin-ball’, and blindfold that person. Whoever is in charge then gently pushes the person across the circle. The person who is blindfolded will eventually bump into employees on the other side of the circle, and these people then gently push the ‘blind’ person towards the people on the other side. The team should take turns with who is blindfolded.
5. Willow in the wind
Have employees form groups of approximately 8 people. One person volunteers to be the ‘willow’, closes their eyes, and lets the rest of the group know when they are ready to fall. The group will then let the ‘willow’ know that they are ready to catch them, and with their arms extended, they help one another to keep the willow upright.
6. Slice and dice
Have the employees stand in two lines, facing one another. Then ask them to hold their arms out, so that they intersect. The person at the end of the line then walks down the ‘gauntlet’. Each team member raises their arms so that the person can make their way through.
7. Scavenger hunt
Have the team of employees form small groups, and then ask them to find listed items as fast they are able to. Basically, whichever team finds every listed item first is the winner. This activity requires team members to work together, which will foster the development of trust.
8. The human knot
Ask team members to stand in a circle. Then, have each person lock right hands with someone on the other side of the circle. To really increase the challenge, ask them to lock hands with the person who is opposite them. Then, have the employees lock their left hands with a different person on the other side of the circle. Try to untangle the human knot without unlocking hands.
9. Eye contact
Employees take turns staring into the other person’s eyes for a period of 60 seconds. This will help them become better at maintaining eye contact, but the two employees should also connect with one another, on some level.
In pairs, one person is blindfolded. They have the task of searching for objects that are scattered around the room, with the help of their partner.
How to Build trust with Customers, Patients, and Clients
To build trust with customers, it is advisable to improve security. Ensure customers feel safe when they interact with you. This now is especially important, given the online form that many businesses now take (DeMers, 2017).
Be active on social media in order to build visibility and attract more clients. Building visibility through social media also offers a wide amount of flexibility – you can engage with followers and clients, post images or videos, or update customers with news and information (DeMers, 2017).
It is wise to “under-promise and over-deliver” when it comes to all of your customer’s expectations. For example, if it will take a week to ship a package, tell the customer it takes two weeks. In other words, aim to please your customers. Never run the risk of not delivering what you promise (DeMers, 2017).
Make customer-service your priority. You should be aiming to make customers happy. If a customer has a problem, and they are given prompt, helpful customer service, their experience will be memorable. They are more likely to engage your services in the future. Similarly, consider what would happen if you don’t provide that level of service. You will most likely lose that customer altogether, and this may also negatively affect your reputation (DeMers, 2017).
Set out to make your brand more personal. This may be in your interactions with customers, or in your marketing and advertising. Generally speaking, the more that you talk to your customers the better. Listen. Pay attention to what they have to say. Always be open and transparent about processes and goals. In the case of error, acknowledge it proactively.
Finally, to build trust in your customers, be as available as possible. Make sure that your brand or your business is available to customers in some way. Provide email contacts. Provide a phone number. Basically, to be available, provide multiple lines of contact.
The following tips are suggested by South University (2014).
Developing trust with patients helps them feel more comfortable, and allows them to be more honest when discussing their health. Communication is the key. Communicate with your patients often and well. This will involve getting to know your patients, you may learn about their hobbies, family, day-to-day activities and working environment. It is also very important to be a good listener. Demonstrate this by listening to all their concerns and asking them follow-up questions.
The second way to engender trust in the relationship you have with a patient is empathy. Being careful not to emotionally overwhelm yourself, you need to have the ability to convey empathy to patients. Overall, you should aim to relate to your patient but maintain boundaries so that their issues, or attitude, don’t affect you emotionally.
Finally, to build trust instill calmness. Health professionals need to be perceived as calm, competent and in control of the situation to a reasonable extent. The patient who can trust in your confidence will be reassured. Then, if something does go wrong, they are more able to stay calm as they will trust that you can handle it.
To develop trust in a relationship with a client, the priority should be timely and efficient communication. Being open shows that your client is important to you. At the same time, you should do all you can to help the client feel comfortable being honest with you. You want them to have a sense of trusting that their concerns or ideas will be taken seriously (MBO Partners, 2018).
Even if you are stressed or feeling overwhelmed, for a client to trust you it is important to maintain a positive attitude. This also conveys energy and confidence that will allow clients to have trust in your work (MBO Partners, 2018).
Your relationship with a client is professional. However, to develop trust, it is important to acknowledge that you do see them as an individual – not just as a ‘paycheck’. For example, show your client that you are interested in them by asking how their children are doing (if you know that the client is a parent) (MBO Partners, 2018).
Sharing information with a client is one way to engender the trust and confidence that they have in the process. This may include, for example, explaining to your client what you did, why you did it, and what led you to make certain decisions. Keep your client informed (MBO Partners, 2018).
The client needs to trust and rely on you as an expert. Therefore, even though it may be uncomfortable, you should avoid simply telling the client what you think they want to hear or holding back your true opinion. Be honest. Be upfront (MBO Partners, 2018).
Finally, one way to build trust with clients is to exceed their expectations. Set reasonable expectations, and don’t promise unrealistic results. Also, think about what would be valuable to a client, and this can provide clues as to how you can go above and beyond in a way that your client will appreciate (MBO Partners, 2018).
The 5 Best Books on Building Trust
Would you like to learn more about building trust? Here are 5 books that you could read.
1. Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life
By Robert C. Solomon and Fernando Flores (2003) (Amazon)
Trust is the necessary backbone of success in any significant relationship. What is trust, exactly? How can it be achieved? What about regaining trust once it has been broken? Solomon and Flores provide compelling answers to these questions in ‘Building Trust’. The book also explains how to move from “naïve trust”, which is easily broken, to “authentic trust” that is reflective, sophisticated and able to be renewed.
2. The Thin Book of Trust: An Essential Primer for Building Trust at Work
By Charles Feltman (2008) (Amazon)
This small book teaches readers how to build and sustain strong, trusting relationships with others and how to repair trust once it has been broken. It talks about being intentional and consistent in your language and action. The book suggests that you can earn and keep the trust of others by understanding and consistently demonstrating trustworthy language and behavior.
3. Building Trust: How to Get It! How to Keep It!
By Hyler J. Bracey (2002) (Amazon)
This is NOT a book about the importance of trust. Rather, by providing practical steps, this book sets out to explain how, step-by-step to build and improve trust.
4. The Courage to Trust: A Guide to Building Deep and Lasting Relationships
By Cynthia L. Wall (2005) (Amazon)
This book suggests that the ability to trust is both a choice and a skill that can be developed. Wall explores how acts of betrayal can leave us with wariness and mistrust. This is a warm, friendly guide as to how to achieve greater self-confidence and deeper levels of intimacy and trust. The book also provides exercises and ideas for self-reflection.
5. Trust Works! Four Keys to Building Lasting Relationships
By Cynthia Olmstead, Kenneth H. Blanchard & Martha C. Lawrence (2013) (Amazon)
The authors share what they call the ‘abcd trust model’ to look into issues such as poor morale, miscommunication in relationships, poor customer service, and dysfunctional leadership. The book begins with an intriguing fable about a dog and a cat with major trust issues.
10 Quotes on Building Trust
There are even more quotes on trust and trust issues that are available from Quote Ambition (n.d.). Here are a few.
“Trust but verify”
“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved”
“Trust starts with truth and ends with truth”
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them”
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters”
“Trust has to be earned, and should come only after the passage of time”
“Only trust someone who can see these three things in you: the sorrow behind your smile, the love behind your anger, and the reason behind your silence”
“It’s hard to trust when all you have from the past is evidence of why you shouldn’t”
“I don’t trust words, I trust actions”
“Trusting you is my decision. Proving me right is your choice”
Take Home Message
The importance of trust in successful relationships cannot be underestimated. Trust is the cornerstone for every healthy relationship. It takes time to build, though as this article has shown, there certainly are steps that can be undertaken to build trust in relationships of many kinds.
Probably the basis for all trust is honesty. Honest communication. As soon as we are caught out speaking untruths, our credibility plummets. Above all else, to build trust in relationships, be honest.
How do you go about building trust in both your professional and personal relationships? Perhaps you have some tips that you can share. Feel free to share your thoughts and feedback. Thanks for reading.
- Bonior, Andrea (2018). 7 ways to build trust in a relationship. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/friendship-20/201812/7-ways-build-trust-in-relationship
- Brinn, Jan (2014). Icebreakers part 3: Building trust and creating a safe environment. Retrieved from https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/icebreakers_part3_building_trust_and_creating_a_safe_environment
- Buckley, Carthage (n.d.). Simple strategies for building trust. Retrieved from https://www.liveyourtruestory.com/13-simple-strategies-for-building-trust-communication/
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