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How long you can extend simple, wide-eyed trust? 15 questions

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All of us have dealt with trust and mistrust since childhood. Whom could you trust? Your life experiences shape your capacity and willingness to risk trusting others. Has extending trust been misplaced or validated?

The balance between hope and vulnerability
What is your state of readiness for unguarded interaction? If you extend trust, that’s hope. You hope a person has the competence and civility to help everyone in the organization succeed. Subsequent actions, words and decisions build or erode trust. When you believe you are vulnerable and will be hurt, trust erodes.

Trust is workplace currency
People make deposits that build trust and withdrawals that erode trust.
Some questions to gauge trustworthiness
1. How quickly and publicly does this person judge people, decisions and work?
2. Does he listen and is the listening sensitive and empathetic? The most successful and influential people
3. Does she show appreciation or take credit for others’ work?
4. Does he micromanage? Micromanagement (command and control)
5. Does this person accept failure as human and learn from failure?
6. Does he have integrity? He believes in something, professes it and acts on it. Integrity if more than honesty
7. Is her assistance helpful or manipulative?
8. Does this person ask questions that contribute to understanding and clarification?
9. Does she blame others?
10. Is communication truthful, timely and as complete as possible?
11. Is he assertive, confronting problems when they arise?
12. Does she pander to her supervisor(s)?
13. Is this person unpredictable? Unpredictability evaporates loyalty
14. Does he respect people?
and my number one question---
15. Does he do things that benefit others and the organization even when it’s not in his self-interest?

The answers help shape perceptions of competence, intentions and trustworthiness
We are each unique in how vulnerable we’re willing to be and just where our tipping point lies. We have to face fundamental questions---
Do I like being cynical and angry or optimistic and happy?
How can I make the best possible situation of this relationship?
What can I trust about this person?

It’s all workplace currency. You’ve undoubtedly thought about other people as you read the questions. Now ask the questions of yourself. Do your words and actions promote or erode trust?

How do you gauge trustworthiness?

References on trust relationships
Trust Rules: The Most Important Secret About Trust
We lose in every way when we lose trust


Another excellent post. I am one of those "over disclosers" and I tend to believe everyone "gets" me and knows that my intentions are good and that my ideas are just ideas, not directives - its a hard lesson for me, I keep thinking I have gotten it, only to be surprised.