Trust is the glue that holds all human relationships together. Human beings are social animals, and for thousands of years have lived in groups, depending on mutual trust for survival.
It’s fairly obvious why you need trust in survival situations. For example, you need to know that your companions have your back when you’re out hunting woolly mammoths. But what role does trust have in our busy 21st-century lives where the emphasis on individual achievement? A world where we are besieged by comparison with others, whether it’s promotion at work, social media or in our relationships. In the modern world, it’s all about winning and staying ahead of the competition. Where does trust fit into that?
Studies have shown that trust is more important than ever for our happiness, success, and productivity. Authenticity and integrity underpin trust in relationships, in our personal and business lives.
When you trust someone, whether a parent, family member, colleague, partner or fellow citizen, you are relying on a connection based on shared values. This unspoken agreement states that you will look after each other and that you can be trusted not to share personal information or secrets. It informs others that you will keep the promises you make and can be relied upon to be who you appear to be.
Trust is a fundamental aspect of both business and personal relationships.
In business relationships, we need trust for a variety of different things, including:
• Promotion, investment and achieving goals
• Delivery of projects and long-term strategies through teamwork, because everyone can be trusted to get the job done
• Safe and supportive workplaces that are more productive and successful
• Leaders can delegate knowing that the work will get done and done well
• Staff will rise to the challenge knowing it is safe to take risks and perform better
• Destructive gossip is discouraged
• Micromanaging is unnecessary
In personal relationships, we need trust just as much as in the work environment.
• Trust changes your mindset to positivity, allowing for personal growth
• Friends can rely on each other in everyday situations. From keeping commitments and being on time to support in life crises
• Partners can enjoy their happiness, untroubled by suspicion or anxiety
• Being able to trust makes your life easier and better. Trust doesn’t require vigilance, but encourages acceptance and leads to other good things necessary for positive human relationships: respect, honesty, calm and certainty
Although we are no longer living in an age where we need to be able to depend on our tribe to help us survive, we need trust more than ever. It makes it possible to feel safe and valued in an unpredictable world.