“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
Recently, a friend shared a story that moved me. His grandfather was grieving the loss of his wife. When she died, his grandfather was overcome with grief and inconsolable. Desperate, his grandfather asked my friend if the Air Force could bring his dead wife back to life. He believed he would meet her someday in heaven, but that was not soon enough, he needed her now. It was probably not possible, he knew that, but he was willing to try anything. He had heard rumors the Air Force might have special equipment that could make that possible. He was in tears and offered his life savings.
What may jump off the page is a love story between the grandfather and his wife. But, you may miss another imbedded story. TRUST
Trust: Why it Matters
George MacDonald said “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” My friend’s grandfather trusted his grandson with his own vulnerability. He was looking for something or someone to help relieve his grief. His grandson proved worthy of that trust and met his grandfathers’ request with compassion and chose to encircle him with love. I believe this lesson also transfers well into our relationships at work.
Trust is often dismissed and undervalued. While in the Air Force, I was responsible for the physical safety of a four-star general. The General never questioned my qualifications. However, he sensed that I worked every day to improve my skills and to gain his trust. I remember going to the General’s office for our daily briefing. As I began the brief, he interrupted me and what he said next was both a shock and a gift. He asked me if I knew that he trusted me. For over a year, he had watched me navigate my extraordinary responsibility without ever seeking assistance. I said, “Yes, but…” He stopped me and told me his trust did not have a “but” clause. I left the room with a more determined spirit. His trust delivered a freedom that allowed me to focus more appropriately. You see, up to then, I was spending energy seeking unneeded approval. I often sought (in writing) guidance for procedures, just in case I was questioned later. You can relate, right? Imagine how trusted we are able to feel when we can clear that mental space. Are you expressing to your subordinates that you trust them? Do you feel trusted by your superiors? Dr. Stephen Covey shared, “Trust is the life-blood of an organization.” Do you agree? If so, do you practice it?
“Trust frees you to express vulnerabilities and think differently.”
Eva Rykrsmith published an article on Intuit .com titled: “How to Build Trust in the Workspace.” According to Rykrsmith, there are five behaviors that undermine trust: overpromising, lying or spinning the truth, poor delivery of a difficult message, not extending trust first, and engaging in a personal conflict. There are also some things you can do to excel at building trust: Make promises and keep them, make firm commitments, follow up, and lastly communicate obstacles.
When my friend looks back, I believe he will embrace his grandfather’s trust as a gift! Just as I did when the General extended his trust to me. Trust frees you to express vulnerabilities and think differently. It also enables you to extend the same gift to those who are worthy in your own life. With trust, we are free to operate in a world free of second-guessing and instead, we can be out in front leading a crowd of cheerleaders. TRUST is one of our greatest unspoken desires.