Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Cycle of Trust

In my newsletter that is going out in less than 24 hours I talk about why it is so important to build trust if you want to be a leader - i.e. a person of significant influence. In the newsletter I make reference to a concept I learned years ago called the Cycle of Trust.

The Cycle of Trust is a simple, but powerful concept. Basically, it states that we tend to trust people we perceive trust us and tend not to trust people we perceive do not trust us. Part of the concept rests on the fact that we tend to communicate our trust (or lack of it) in many non-verbal and subconscious ways that other people pick up on. So, even if we try to hide it, we give off "vibes" that we don't trust someone and they are able to pick up on that and it creates a sense of mistrust toward us...and the cycle goes on. On the surface it seems almost too simple. When I first learned about it during some management training I was skeptical, so I decided to experiment with it.

At the time there was another manager that I didn't trust at all... not at all. And, I was pretty sure they didn't trust me either. So, I began to intentionally work on trusting them. I made specific efforts to give them the benefit of the doubt in situations where the facts weren't clear and gave them outward support that I hadn't previously. Slowly, I noticed my attitude toward them changing for the better. I really began to believe in and trust them more readily. Surprisingly, I began to notice their attitude changing toward me. Long story short, our relationship was radically affected. We became friends and worked very well together for years.

Who can you apply the dynamics of the cycle of trust with? When will you start? If you do your part, you too will be amazed at what can happen.

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