Trust yourself before others can trust you

Trust the foundation of any relationship

Trust is fundamental building block of any relationship.  We use the same life  skills whether we are in relationship personally or in the workplace and your relationship with trust follows you everywhere.  Whether you want to create a high performing team, or to lead powerfully with integrity, build a relationship with you team, your peers or clients, trust is essential.  But before you can create trust with anyone else, we often forget to establish how much do we trust ourselves?

If trust really is the holy grail to successful relationships, we really do need to start trusting ourselves first.  After all, why would anyone trust you if you can’t trust yourself. trust

Yet trust takes years to develop.  In the world of instant gratification, where we expect results immediately, how do we learn the patience, dedication and damned hard work to build those important relationships?  Sure, you might read a meme, listen to that audio book, or watch that TED talk to gain the theory of trust, but trust developing it takes time and effort.  It means being honest with yourself and a journey of self-awareness.  And as you learn to trust yourself, you need to go out there and role model it.    

As Jude Jennison writes in Leadership beyond Measure,

“Trust is the confidence and belief in the integrity of a person or thing.  That includes you.  Trust is something you feel, not something you do.  It requires you to be open hearted, honest and vulnerable, without suspicion or fear. “

How much do you trust yourself to do the right thing, deliver the right results, or be the best version of you?  Trust in yourself means that you trust in your abilities, your skills, your experience and your inner being.  Trust gives you the confidence that you can achieve and be successful.

I am playing it small

Think back to a meeting you had last year where there was an important topic on the table.  Did you trust yourself to speak up for what you truly believed?  I bet on at least one occasion you wrapped up your comments in some political, half-baked monologue, just saying enough to look like you contributed, but not enough to be accountable or even controversial.  You probably played small, safe, acting through suspicion or fear.  Believe me the latter example is the most common place answer if people are truly honest.  Trust in ourselves and our peers is fundamentally missing in workplaces everywhere.

And in the absence of trust what is left?  Fear, faking, suspicion, competition, gossiping, mistakes, cover ups, blaming.  No wonder work feels hard?  We know this stuff, but we don’t trust ourselves to choose another way to be.

A huge dose of vulnerability

Trust in yourself requires self-belief, self-awareness and a huge dose of vulnerability.  Vulnerability because saying I don’t agree, I don’t understand, I am not on board, well it might not have a positive outcome.  So, we hold back, cover up.  But if everyone is doing that, then work becomes a dance at a masked ball.  Everyone is going through the motions in synchronicity, yet hiding behind a mask of distrust and mediocracy.  Now that sure is an effective way to run a business don’t you think???

Trust in yourself means that you know your strengths, but you also accept all your imperfections.  Trust is knowing that you don’t berate yourself or blame when things don’t go well.  Trust means that you accept your shortcomings and errors and learn from them.  Trust in yourself means that you don’t hide, fake or cover up your weaknesses. 

This same trust you have in yourself, means that others will trust you.  You will make them feel safe in times of uncertainty or change.  You will help them to trust themselves and each other. 

After working with teams and leaders over the years, I have come to realise that trust is the fundamental building block that is missing in most relationships.   How do you overcome it?  You start with you and how much you know and trust yourself.  It starts with the leader, to trust themselves and demonstrate trust.  It then requires all team members to practice trust, daily, in every interaction, every conversation always.  Trust is a strategic decision and everyone needs to weigh in.

Notice when you are holding back and ask yourself why you aren’t trusting yourself or others.

To find out more about how you can build trust in your relationships and create a foundation of trust in your teams, contact us now info@3wh.uk.com