The All-Pervasive Dynamic of Trust

We continue to lay a foundation for the consideration of trust and its impact on all of life. I find it hard to identify a dynamic more impactful in every single aspect of life than trust. It certainly is front and center when it comes to creating effective action for optimal or transformational results


According to Fernando Flores, nothing can undermine a relationship more completely than lack of trust. In business, politics, marriage, in any significant relationship, trust is the essential precondition upon which all real success depends.


The important questions are:
1. What is trust?
2. How can it be achieved and sustained?
3. And, most importantly, how can it be regained once it has been broken?


Fernando Flores argues that trust is not something that simply exists from the beginning, something we can assume or take for granted; that it is not a static quality, or some semi-mystical atmosphere or “social glue.” Instead, he asserts that trust is an emotional skill, an active and dynamic part of our lives that we build and sustain with our promises and commitments, our emotions and integrity.


Flores states that the key is to move from a naïve trust that is easily shattered to an authentic trust that is sophisticated, reflective, and possible to renew. The key to creating such trust is communication, a willingness to bring an uncomfortable subject into the open where its processes can be analyzed, understood, and rationally negotiated. We will dive into more detail regarding this in future posts.


When you look at trust within the context of what we have been considering for several weeks-promise and request-it starts to tie together how critical it is in all aspects of life. Any time I break a promise-even the simplest of promises–or mishandle a request, it erodes trust, whether I recognize it or not.


Think about the biggest relational failure that has occurred in your life. When did you start mistrusting the other party? What caused that? How did you handle it? We tend to be pretty clear on some of the big betrayals that eroded trust.


But, I am asking you to look beyond that also. For now, simply consider this-contemplate it….
  • possible small red flags you ignored, and
  • possible presuppositions you brought into the relationship that contributed to the breakdown, due to the blindness they generated in how you engaged the relationship.


Consider whom you trust. Who do you trust? The answer to that question says as much about you as it does about those you trust or mistrust.


For most people, whom they trust or mistrust is heavily influenced by their history-their previous disappointments, losses, and betrayals. And, usually, these events unconsciously and automatically influence what you conclude in the present moment.


So, it is easy to see what a pervasive topic this is.


I encourage you to identify one or more current relationships that you desire to create more trust in. Start considering what we will be exploring through the prism of current, important, active relationships that are being influenced by a lack of trust on your part, their part, or both of your parts.


We are going to take our time with this. It is a topic that responds well with a slow, ‘marinating’ approach, which can lead to deeper awareness, and, ultimately, more effective action.


Question: What pet peeve do you have that you notice quickly erodes trust you have with others? Think simple.. actions others take that erode your trust.