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What Do We Mean by Trust

What Do We Mean By Trust

What Do We Mean by Trust?

The Oxford Dictionary defines trust as ‘Firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone’. On one level we all understand what it means but on a deeper level there are massive differences in people’s expectations from it. There must be – so many business disputes are based on disagreements around this subject.

I propose we break down the concept of trust into two areas: naïve trust and mature trust.

  1. Naïve Trust

David Richo explains in his book Daring to Trust when we are young, our sense of trust is innocent, even naïve. Our expectations can be unrealistic, and if they are not met, we feel disappointed. Our egoic mind interprets this as betrayal and pushes us to take retaliatory actions. To a lesser or greater degree, we continue to operate from this level of trust throughout our lives and when we do we frequently end up in trouble.

  1. Mature Trust

Mature trust is when we:

  • Maintain faith in others even when things go wrong.
  • Resist judgement and condemnation.
  • Express our disappointment appropriately and proportionately, but then let it go.

If we are fooled by someone, we learn from the experience, become more adept at setting boundaries, and move on.

When coming from mature trust people are comfortable with us because they are not burdened by unrealistic expectations.

Trust is also a measure of our ability to live with uncertainty. It is faith that all will turn out for the best. We no longer come from scepticism and distrust and fuss over detail. We cease interfering with those to whom we have delegated responsibilities and as a result reassure and inspire them to lift their game.

John Reynard

Founder – the Spirited Entrepreneur