“Trust one who has tried.”
—Virgil, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period
What criteria do you use to determine someone’s trustworthiness?
Select a particular person from your professional or personal community. Using the following questions, rate them on a scale of one to four, with four being high:
- Is consistent and dependable
- Is more focused on others than self
- Is a good listener
- Keeps personal confidences and avoids gossip
- Shows genuine care for others
- Exhibits honesty and integrity
- Is a win-win, consensus builder
Also ask yourself if this person walks their talk, even in the face of obstacles and challenges.
How would you rate yourself – or better yet – how would others rate you on the same trustworthiness scale? How can you always demonstrate yourself as one who would not ask others to do something you hadn’t tried yourself?
“Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often.”
-Mark Twain, pen name of American Writer Samuel Longhorne Clemens
image from activerain.com
Who do you trust the most in your personal and professional lives?
Please name a few people, then examine the basis you have for instilling this level of trust in them. How often do these individuals walk their talk? Do they consistently do what they say they will do?
Who in your world do you distrust? Again, name some names to add greater clarity to this exercise. How often do these individuals exhibit the adage, “Talk is Cheap”? How often do they over-promise and under-deliver?
Who within your personal or professional communities would place you on the first list rather than the second?
Consider taking my 10-minute Trust-o-Meter Assessment to examine the degree of trust you inspire in your friends, family, and colleagues.
“Trust that when the answer is ‘no,’ there’s a better ‘yes’ down the road.”
Photo from Flickr by Abhi
Many people are familiar with the story of Thomas Edison’s 10,000-plus unsuccessful attempts to create the light bulb. His philosophy on such a high volume of failures was that the world was simply saying ‘no’ to the most recent attempt. He is quoted as saying, “I never failed. I only found 10,000 ways in which it did not work.”
Undaunted, he persisted in his efforts, always seeing a better way and getting to a ‘yes’ that would eventually light the world.
Where in your own life are you receiving your share of No’s?
How often do the No’s stop you? How often do they spur you on in faith, knowing that the better Yes’s of life may simply be a bit further down the road?
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
– Stephen Covey, American self-help author
image from Flicker by Sam Catch
Trust is not something built with a quick-fix technique. It is developed through consistent habits in your personal and organizational interactions.
On a 1to 10 scale (1 = low 10 = high), how well do you exhibit the following behavior patterns, gluing your relationships together?
1. You avoid hidden agendas and are seen as open and transparent in your interactions.
2. You are sincere, honest, and demonstrate integrity through your words and actions.
3. You focus on giving versus getting, with the best interest of others in mind.
4. You invest your time in others and make their interests your interests.
5. You treat others with respect, dignity, and honor.
6. You take responsibility for mistakes (without making excuses) and clean things up quickly.
7. You are open and receptive to the feedback and contributions that others offer to you.
To dig a bit further into the issue of trust, consider taking my “Trust-o-Meter” assessment
“To trust yourself, to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.”
– Bernard Edmonds, writer
How often do you test your limits?
How often do you bump up against your comfort zone and stop right there in relative safety?
Is there a secret to realizing our dreams? Archimedes said that if you had a long enough lever, you could move the world.
I’d like you to consider the idea that your commitments are your levers. By using your mind to envision a better future, and then by mobilizing your strength and courage, you can move beyond your self-imposed limits.
List three to five of your highest-priority commitments that are essential for you to consider your life a success.
What can you do today to fulfill these commitments and exceed your limits?