2 min read

Trust. Why it's Breaking and How to (re)Build It.

Trust. Why it's Breaking and How to (re)Build It.
Photo by Alex Shute / Unsplash

I spend a lot of time thinking about trust.

What it is. How we build it. What breaks it.

It's a tricky thing - multi-factored and complex.

And there are (at least) two primary dimensions of trust, what we call "performance trust" and "relational trust", which you can read more about at the link.

A recent report by the Edelman Trust Barometer suggests that trust in society, particularly in our institutions like government, media, business and the NGO sector, is at an all time low.

Maybe you can feel it, too. Not sure if you can trust that headline you read, or whether the government is actually going to follow through on a commitment.

Quick intermission - if you're kicking around on Friday, November 26th at 12pm MST - we're doing a live lunch and learn on this very topic. You should come.

Trust: Why it's Breaking and How to (re)Build It | LinkedIn
According to a recent report, the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, our “trust” in society is at an all time low. From government and media, to NGO’s and business, this breakdown of trust in our world has grave consequences at the individual, collective and societal levels. Join Jeff Couillard, Co-CEO…

Yesterday I had a great session with a leadership team, working towards clarifying some core values and key goals for the team.

Their number one value?


I pushed back a little bit. Not because trust isn't important (it's critical), but as a value it requires further definition and deeper discussion. And it means something different to each person around the table, we've all had a wide range of experiences with "trust" in relationships.

We talked about behaviours that build and break trust.

- No micromanaging
- No hiding issues
- Voicing your thoughts and experiences
- Being direct (but compassionate)
- Being predictable and dependable
- Setting clear expectations
- Etc., etc.

The most important component of trust, in my humble opinion?

Expectation setting.

If I know what to expect, and you follow through on those expectations, we'll build trust together.

If we set expectations, and one of us doesn't follow through, trust will erode.

Expectations around what, though?

Probably anything, really. Timeliness. Quality of work. Listening instead of talking. Being compassionate instead of judgmental. Being available to help with something you said you would. Emailing by the deadline. Not sharing sensitive information with others.

We have expectations of others in a wide range of areas, and if we're serious about building trust with each other, we should take a closer look at how clear our expectations actually are.

The main problem is that we often fail to make them clearly, and mutually, understood.

Would love to see you on Friday as we dig into the "Trust Equation" - a roadmap for building deeper levels of trust and connection.