There are three major sources of trust generation. Everything else is commentary:
- The ‘keep promises’. I can rely on you, You said you would, you did. You did not let me down. You walked the talk. Some people may call it reliable, consistent, and predictable. I call it trust, trustworthy. I trust you. You’ll trust me. We will keep our promises. (Keeping promises, or lack of it, still one of the greatest sources of disengagement in organizations and reasons for leaving).
- The ‘I can be vulnerable’. I made myself vulnerable by disclosing too much, by telling you about my weaknesses, my fault lines, my unfinished thoughts, my doubts, my hesitations, my half decisions my half truths, my insecurity. You did not take advantage. You did understand. Or not. But you did not exploit it, or gained from that, or made a killing out of my inferiority. Thanks. I am not worse off, not humiliated, actually, I am a bit of a more confident grown up.
- The ‘diamonds in an envelope’. New York Jewish communities trading in diamonds see the backwards and forwards of them in envelopes. That’s it. Not certified, not FEDEX, not signature. If you reach the envelope practice level, you’ve done very well on trust.
The three are connected, of course.
There is a fourth one. It’s blind and emotional and halo effect. I trust this guy, not sure why, speaks well, seems authentic, is a family guy, and religious, and speaks with authority, and is credible, and intelligent, and…
This is a package of trust, for better or for worse. But it works.
Trust is the greatest organizational oil. No trust? Slow or stuck machinery.
Keep promises, allow yourself to be vulnerable and send diamonds in envelops; that is the formula. Easy.