Building Trust and Avoiding Breaking it
Understand the Nature of TrustOne of the Old Testament words for trust (batach) has a meaning of “careless.” Think about it: When you trust your spouse, you feel so safe that you are careless—or free of concern—with him or her. You don’t have to hide who you are or be self-protective.
Trust isn’t given unconditionally. You have to be trustworthy to receive trust. Even Jesus submitted himself to the trust test, teaching people to see if He was really who He claimed: “Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does” (John 10:37).
What does that mean for you as an employee? It means checking with your colleagues on how you affect them. Ask your colleagues, “In what ways have I not been trustworthy?” For example, perhaps you have been critical or harsh when someone admits a fault or weakness. This erodes trust and shows you can’t be trusted with more vulnerable parts of the heart. Or maybe you have not delivered on your promises. Asking someone for honest input will reveal areas that you may need to work on to build trust in with others.
Put an End to Deception
Trust and truth go hand in hand. That is why deception of any sort is the biggest trust killer.
There is no such thing as a white lie. Being honest with others includes telling the truth about any situation. Many marriages have been saved because both spouses committed to being honest, even if it involved painful truths. Many businesses have been boosted because the employees committed themselves to being honest and open.
Give Change a Chance
Let’s suppose some relationship you have at work or at home has experienced a breach of trust already. The hurt from that experience can cause you to withdraw your heart and decide never to trust again. But don’t give up on others. Give them a chance to earn your trust once again.
But remember: There must be more than apologies. To earn trust, some real changes need to be made. Maybe the offending person needs to join a support group or talk to a mentor. Maybe he or she needs to be more accountable to you and even seek out accountability for certain behaviors.
One couple I counseled experienced a crisis of trust that could have torn their marriage apart. The husband flirted with other women: waitresses, co-workers, even their mutual friends. He thought it was harmless until his wife told him how alone and scared it made her feel. He saw how it was affecting her, and he was a changed man.
He told her, “If you see me being inappropriate with a woman again, tell me right there and I will stop.” He became more accountable, and she was finally able to trust her husband.
Trust can be built and rebuilt, and we all can enjoy the fruit that comes from being secure with others around us.