Should “trust” be earned?

man grabbing another man's hand

I recently heard Jerry Hurley say that at his organization trust is given, but it can be lost. This is 180 degrees reverse of the usual platitude that “trust is earned, never given.”

From an organizational health perspective, this is a game-changer. If trust is given, the potential implications can be staggering:

– The tone of every email is read differently

– The person leaving early, or arriving late, is assumed to have a really good reason for doing so

– The new policy that sounds vindictive was not intended to be

And on and on…

We live in a grudge-oriented world, where heart disease is once again on the rise, and the overall health of Americans is in decline.

Giving people the benefit of the doubt won’t fix these problems. But, why not assume the best until assuming the best no longer makes sense?

As far as trust goes, it is not earned.

Trust is rather a gift one gives to another, who in turn gives it back to the other person. It is a mutual covenant built on reciprocity, assurance, and predictability. Reliability is what is earned. But it starts with the gift.

Let’s extend that gift to our team-members.

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