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TrustGiving 2014: 5 Reasons to Extend Trust

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Welcome to TRUSTGiving 2014, our first annual weeklong trust awareness campaign.  Join the Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts as our members help our readers navigate the complexities of trust. We will be blogging (several times a day) and posting on Twitter #TrustGiving2014.

Linda Fisher Thornton offers advice on Protecting the Trust Relationship

I have noticed that when I extend trust to others, even if I have doubts, I am usually pleasantly surprised by the results. I believe that we should extend trust freely to others for these five reasons that tie directly back to the success of our organizations:

5 Reasons We Should Extend Trust

1. To Avoid a Cycle of Mistrust

If we hold back trust we may treat someone suspiciously, causing them to not trust us. Our negative expectations can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, starting a cycle of mistrust.

2. To Encourage Trustworthy Behavior

We often get what we expect, so we should expect trustworthy behavior. If we freely trust people, they are more likely to behave in trustworthy ways.

3. To Support Ethical Culture-Building

High-trust workplaces support ethical choices and ethical choices build trust. Withholding trust creates a cultural “dampening field,” making it less likely that people will protect the organization’s ethics.

4. To Stay Focused on Positive Outcomes

Staying focused on the positive keeps us from getting stuck in “what if” scenarios that can distract us from the work at hand.

5. To Bring Out People’s Best (Which Fuels Organizational Success)

Trusting others (while being alert for problems at the same time) brings out the best in them, and it brings out the best in us. This positive cycle propels our organizations to success.

Protecting the Trust Relationship

If we make trust “all about us” we’re missing the point – trust is inherently relational. We can’t build a trust relationship by holding back until people “earn it.” We will not reap the wonderful benefits of trust building without a commitment to protecting the trust relationship. No “transaction” can transform people and organizations the way that that protecting the trust relationship does.


Linda Fisher Thornton is CEO of Leading in ContextLLC, and she is on a mission to Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership™ in organizations. She is the author of 7 Lenses. Linda is an authority on the future of ethical leadership, and writes and speaks about how to bring out the best in people and organizations through proactive ethical leadership.  Her website is LeadinginContext.com.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Copyright 2014 Next Decade, Inc.

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