Trust is often the core of any relationship, personal or professional, and the only way to establish trust is to be consistent between what you say and what you do.
One of the most simple and best definitions of trust that I have heard is:
Trust equals consistency over time. There is no shortcut for either.
That is a fantastic definition – 100% true.
My only add would be that this definition illustrates beautifully the importance of integrity.
Integrity is all about making and keeping commitments.
This is so hard to do because of our propensity to make commitments we don’t intend to keep.
It is only when we demonstrate integrity that we have the sort of consistency that builds trust.
A few random thoughts on this –
- Trust is not achieved by 1 big gesture but rather by a collection of small actions over time.
- Trust is built when no one is looking. When everyone is watching is easy to do what you said you will do [or won’t do]. It is when no one looking that you stick to your word and do what you said you will do [or won’t do] that builds trust.
- It is naturally hard to trust a new person when it is a win situation for the other person. An ideal example for this would be when a car salesman tells you that there is a really good deal on the new BMW 5 series.
- Trust, once broken, can be established again but it is just a lot harder and takes longer.
There definitely are no shortcuts.