Spark a Cycle of Reciprocity

You want to be trusted at work. We all do. We all want others to believe we’re good, capable people, guided by the best intentions.

A truth about trust? It’s reciprocal. To get trust, we have to give it first.

What does it look like when we give trust?

We ‘walk our talk’, tell the truth, and tap into others’ talents and skills.

We also give people the benefit of the doubt when they let us down. We suspend judgment and criticism and make the effort to discover why they disappointed us. Our inner voices shift from “I knew I shouldn’t have trusted him!” to “I wonder what happened to keep him from delivering on his commitment?”

When we give trust, we embrace the complexity of life. We extend compassion… approaching each situation with sincere interest and concern, rather than with suspicion and readiness to blame. The result?

We experience the people around us mirroring our efforts. We receive back the support, understanding, and compassion we’ve given.

Trust begets trust.

How about the flipside? What does it look like when we withhold trust?

We approach let downs very differently. We’re more likely to judge, criticize, and jump to conclusions. We tend to withhold information, keep our ideas and concerns close to our chests, and not ask for help when we need it. We may refrain from delegating even minor tasks, because we fear no one else can do handle the work as well as we can. The result?

Communication breaks down. Stress, doubt, and fear take over. Our work and relationships suffer. We suffer.

Distrust begets distrust.

Giving trust is more than just a ‘nice thing to do.’ It’s a vital component to building meaningful, productive relationships.

Today, what can you do to spark a cycle of reciprocal trust? What small step can you take to connect with another person, and make that person feel trusted?

Yours in trust,

Dennis Reina

Posted in Leadership, Organizational Culture, Teamwork.