Trust is one of the most powerful beliefs in our society. It can take years to build, yet, seconds to destroy. Everyone wants to be trusted and thrive on it. That is why it is important to understand how it works. I am currently reading The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey and learned that it is built upon four qualities: integrity, intent, capabilities, and results.
Integrity has a very narrow connotation in our society. It is not just being the “nice guy.” It is following through with commitments that you make both to yourself and others. It means to be understanding and open to new perspectives. It is about having the courage to stand up for your beliefs no matter how many people are supporting you. I made a lot of commitments to myself and others that I would either forget or not follow through on. I always agreed with the crowd and never really defined my own values. This made it difficult for the ones around me to trust my judgment.
We judge ourselves based on our intent and others judge us based on our behavior.Stephen M.R. Covey
Intent is knowing your reasons behind your actions. So many of us continue our lives without understanding our “why.” If you want to gain genuine trust then it has to come from a caring motive. You have to show that your “why” is about caring and for mutual benefit. There also has to be an agenda. We can have a motive for what we do but without a plan, we get nowhere. Having a motive defines your “why” and having an agenda defines your “how.” Finally, we have to take action. We can have the right motive and a great agenda but if we never take action, then we stay the same. There have been a lot of times where I would have the right motive and a detailed agenda but was too afraid to take action.
Trust cannot be achieved if you do not know your capabilities. You have to know your strengths. We are taught that we should focus on our weaknesses and try to improve them. I have realized that you get more benefit from focusing on your strengths and then surrounding yourself with individuals who make up for your weaknesses. Trust is something that needs to be maintained. A programmer this year has much more advanced skills that a programmer ten years ago. So, to maintain trust you have to keep improving. It becomes tough to trust someone to get future results when they are only using the tactics of the past. Finally, it is tough to hit a target if you do not know what you are aiming for. If you don’t know what your end goal is, then it is difficult for anyone, even yourself, to trust you. Having a detailed goal allowed me to better communicate with my peers.
The final quality needed to build trust is results. You can have all the other three qualities but if you aren’t producing results it is difficult for anyone to trust you. There are three actions that can be taken to improve your results. First, you have to take responsibility for your results. Even if it is good or bad. More often than not, we are told to take responsibilities for our actions. However, when taking responsibility for our results as well, we are able to be more innovative. For example, my needed result is losing 2% body fat. Instead of only focusing on the small activities in between- maintaining a proper diet, working out a certain amount of times a weak, reps, and weights- I also focus on the end result. This allows me to have an open mind and understand there are multiple ways of achieving that result. Second, you have to expect to win. It takes the same amount of effort to think about your downfall as it does to think about your success. If you expect yourself to lose, then why are you trying in the first place? Finally, whatever the consequences are you have to finish strong. This concept goes back to the idea of maintaining your commitments. When we face an obstacle we can either use it as an excuse to quit or a chance to pivot and change direction. Whatever we chose is what ultimately defines us.
Trust has always been a difficult thing for me. After reading this book, I have realized why. I understood that if we want to build trust with others, then we first have to trust ourselves. Every time you break a commitment- even as small as waking up at a time you have decided to or not defending your values, you are losing trust in yourself. This post is for those people who may be in the same position. Do not simply read this and move on. I want you to take action!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! I would love to read your thoughts! Tune in next Sunday to learn about values.