Trust is Easily Given, and Taken

A continuation of the review of The Code of the West.

Trust is a funny thing.  It is clear when we have it, and it is clear when we don’t.  The muddy part of the equation is how we got it, or how we lost it.  There are those folks in my life that I trust implicitly that are a part of what I call my “tribe”.  My tribe is my group of friends and family that are my council, and are my go-to when I am celebrating a success or overcoming a struggle.  Simply put, I trust them.

Trust is earned through acts over a period of time, and conversely, it is eroded the same way. One key principle of building trust is follow through on your word, which brings us to the 6th principle of the Code of the West.

Principle #6: When You Make a Promise, Keep It

If there is one thing that I cannot tolerate, it is empty promises.  A sure-fire way to erode my trust is lack of follow through.  I have a firm belief that we are only as good as our word, so being around folks that “talk a big game” but have no follow through is a real issue for me.  I quickly prune them from my life, or at least from my tribe.  I simply don’t trust them.  But, why don’t I trust them?  Let’s deconstruct trust to find out what it is that causes us to lose trust in someone.

There are 3 elements of trust: competence; sincerity; and reliability.  Establishing trust requires that we feel that someone is capable, that their motives are not self motivated, and that they follow through on their commitments.  If any one of these elements is missing or lacking, trust erodes.  It seems simple enough, but how many empty promises have we heard, and possibly said, in our lifetime?  Maybe someone in your life was placating, or didn’t want to have a tough conversation so they said something a bit hollow.  It happens from time to time, but there is an impact, and if happens too often, trust is broken.

“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”     ~Unknown



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