Trust does not fall from the sky. It is not something that can be defined on a piece of paper. It belongs to the realm of character and the spirit, and has as much to do with who we are as with what we do. It is painstakingly built over time. It is tested by circumstances. How therefore can trust be built and, if broken, rebuilt?
TRUST, is HUGE for me. I find I work better in an environment where there is trust. I relate better where there is trust. We are living in a fallen world where “trust” has faded away rapidly and we have an atmosphere of competitiveness, suspicion, undermining our workmates and so on all in a bid to “get ahead.”
It’s so interesting chatting to people about trust and seeing their reactions when I say that trusting people and believing the best in and of them is important to me. I’ve been told “NEVER trust anyone”, “You’ll only get hurt”, “The day and age we are living in has no room for trust”, “You are too trusting”, “It’s a cut-throat world. Dog eat dog” and so on. I find it quite fascinating. Yes, I’ve been let down and hurt badly because of trust but ultimately trusting God helps me trust people who are made in his image and likeness – imago deo!
How can trust be built?
1. Always be truthful: not just once but over and over again
2. Speak the truth with grace: be gentle but firm
3. Set things right when you are wrong: Be quick to apologize when you are wrong
4. Be quick to forgive: Talk through things sensitively and thoroughly
5. Keep your promises: It can make or break your credibility
6. Act consistently: Match your words with actions and vice versa
7. Know that it’s okay to say “I don’t know…” It creates an atmosphere of security and breeds trust.
8. Entrust and encourage: Encourage in public and correct in private
I have worked with teams where trust is the order of the day and I’ve just LOVED it. I have flourished and I’ve seen my workmates flourish. It’s wonderful. The workplace becomes a place of enjoyment. I was told recently by Brian Oldreive – Founder and pioneer of Foundations for Farming, that he “trusts me with his writing”. I’ve been told by Julian Adams that he trusts me to publish correct information about him and many others. That is so precious.
On the other hand I’ve worked with teams where trust doesn’t exist. “Divide and rule” is the order of the day and I’ve seen suspicion created, workmates being misquoted, division in the team etc. That is just a difficult environment to be in and it weighs heavily on people.
As Christians, there are unlimited opportunities to be trustworthy and to create an atmosphere of trust. Trust really does belong to the realm of character and the spirit. Are you a builder of trust?