Grow — 21 February 2013

TRUST IS THE bedrock of life, love, and every relationship. Period!  It is the single most important factor in building personal and professional relationships; it is the cornerstone of relationships that fit and feel right.

Without trust, we have nothing. “Trust implies accountability, predictability and reliability,” writes leadership guru John Maxwell. Yet from an early age we are programmed to distrust; we are warned: “Don’t talk to strangers.”

Now, as wary adults, it’s counter-intuitive and downright scary to see good in people first. When I tell people during speeches or in casual conversation to embrace the idea of trusting first, they often scowl as if I’ve asked them to swim with sharks or walk barefoot in the snow. That would make them feel exposed. Vulnerable. Reckless.

That’s because our first instinct is to distrust until someone proves him- or herself worthy of our trust. And exposing ourselves to what we believe are the wicked ways of the world, lurking in strangers, is terrifying. Likewise, opening ourselves up to trust people in the competitive, ruthless business world may sound naive or reckless–even though the opposite is true.

As the old saying goes, “Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.” So how can you get to work on trusting?

  • Know thyself
  • Listen to your Intuition

We must switch our brain’s default setting from distrust and reprogram it to trust first. The feminist writer Gloria Steinem said: “The first problem for all of us is not to learn but to unlearn.”

Bottom Line: Let someone earn your distrust by giving them the benefit of the doubt. So start within, by trusting yourself, then believe in the good of people–first.


 

 

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