Building The Foundation Of Trust

Leading at Light Speed is a new leadership book for anyone and everyone who cares to build high performance organizations that perform at very high levels, as measured by profitability, growth, and customer retention. The following is an excerpt on Building Trust.

Let’s start with the foundation of trust. Creating trust may seem like an obvious part of a leader’s job. What is not as obvious, however, is just how fundamental and important it is. Scientists have shown that our brains are hard-wired to respond favorably to those we trust. Every one of our emotions is created by trust or lack of trust. That has been the case for millennia. What has changed is how quickly our feelings of trust can shift. Thanks to 24-hour news and the Internet, we are continuously processing new information to discover who we can and cannot trust.

How Trust Works

In his book How the Mind Works, Steven Pinker shows exactly how our brains are wired to respond to actions that either build trust or corrode it. Trust, he explains, affects and creates all our emotions – from love and hate, to betrayal and devotion. What causes us to feel love? Because we trust someone and feel trusted in return. Why do we get mad? Because there is a feeling of mistrust. Why do we feel betrayed? Because we perceive someone isn’t keeping up his or her end of the bargain.

Trust is Based on the Principle of ________

Trust is based on the principle of reciprocity. It’s an evolutionary strategy, hard-wired into our genes. If you give me a hand, I’ll return the favor – especially if I think there’s a strong likelihood of repeated transactions with you in the future. Pinker explains how our minds are evolved to sense trust and reciprocity or if gaps between what we expect to receive and what we actually receive exist. This “cheater meter” is working in every conscious moment. If I think that you’ve treated me fairly, then my cheater meter is in the green. If not, the dial turns red.

It is remarkable how attuned people are to their cheater meters. People are generally aware of how much to trust their boss, peers, or anyone else. Think about someone you trust. Fundamentally, if you feel trust, you trust him or her to look after your interests, right? That is reciprocity at work, my friends.

Leading Resources provides consulting services for leaders and leading organizations. Workshops, tools, and management consulting to help your organization succeed in times of accelerating change.

One Response to Building The Foundation Of Trust

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>