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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.

In this post, Bob Whipple discusses the bilateral nature of trust.

I have studied trust for two decades.  It is such a rich topic area that the angles of insights are limitless. A concept I want to discuss here is the bilateral nature of trust.  We often think of trust as one dimensional: about how we feel toward another person. In reality, trust goes both directions at all times.

If we recognize this aspect of trust, one of the best ways to receive more trust in your life is to give more of it to others.  If a child trusts us to keep her from falling on her first bike ride, we rise to that trust by being worthy of it.

The same kind of reciprocal trust goes on in the workplace every day.  If we extend more trust to people then we will build more trust for us in return. It is this cycle of giving and receiving trust that is so helpful for anyone in a leadership position.

I work with leaders all the time. Many of them show little trust in their workers because they say, “how can I trust them when they show that they are not trustworthy.”  These leaders foster low trust actions and the cycle continues.  If they would only seek ways to show higher trust, in little ways, there is a Pygmalion way to walk out of the darkness to where higher trust extension is possible.

Take proactive step of extending more trust to people who work for you. This means doing things like:

  • Giving people more authority
  • Refraining from micromanaging
  • Eliminating restrictive rules

These types of actions allow people to know you are serious about trusting them more, and they will rise to a higher level of performance as a result.

Bob Whipple (AKA “The Trust Ambassador”) is CEO of Leadergrow Inc., an organization dedicated to the development of leaders.  He has written four books on trust and leadership and has made contributions to several other trust books.  He has written hundreds of articles on trust and leadership topics.

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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