It is the intangible thing that drives all human relationships. You can’t touch it, smell it, feel it or taste it, but its presence dictates our effectiveness as a leader, colleague or partner.

Trust is created when we feel safe. It comes from demonstrations that we do what we say we are going to do. It comes from a willingness to be open and vulnerable. It comes when our focus is to help other people to achieve their goals, instead of our own. Think of building trust as a Marble Jar; each time someone does something that builds trust in you, add one, two or many marbles to the jar. Each time they do something that makes you lose trust with them you take out one, two, many, or in some cases, all of the marbles! Trust and influence go hand in hand. The more someone trusts you the more likely they are to be influenced by you.

Trust is reciprocal. The more you trust someone, the more likely they are to trust you.

We all want more trust in our lives but creating trust is inherently risky. There are two kinds of risk: The risk of doing a wrong thing, and the risk of not doing a right thing. Most of us are paralysed by the fear of the first kind of risk, often to the extent of unintentionally committing the second kind. Trust is created when we are willing to go first in taking the risk of doing the right thing.

Great leaders recognise this. So go seek the opportunities that arise in your daily interactions to build more trust.


Read about The Trust Equation here.