Trust Makes us Great

Two Opinions on Trust

This is a monthly column on becoming a great human being and has two opinions on the subject from western and eastern part of the world namely Michael Thallium from Spain and Dr Amit Nagpal from India.

Michael Thallium, Spain

I have no doubts that trust makes us great. In an environment where trust is high, you can do things faster and at a lower cost. We all can learn to trust not just to do things faster and at a lower cost, but to create joy, prosperity and to feel energized. The ability to learn is itself very learnable, specially at a young age. That is why it is essential to help young people to be smarter and trust. However, we all can learn how to trust regardless of our age. And believe me, it is not that hard but it isn’t easy either! It requires time, effort and commitment. Of course, the first person you have to start with is yourself: “Do you trust yourself?” and “Who trusts you?”

Now you may be wondering, “but how can you trust in a low-trust world?” To answer this question I would like to recommend two excellent books: “The Speed of Trust” and “Smart Trust” by Stephen M. R. Covey and Greg Link. They identified 13 key behaviours which high trust people have in common. The first five behaviors are character-based; the second five are competence-based; and the last three are equal parts character and competence.

Primarily based on character: talk straight, demonstrate concern, create transparency, right wrongs, show loyalty.
•  Primarily based on competence: deliver results, get better, confront reality, clarify expectations, practice accountability.
•  Both character and competence: listen first, keep commitments, extend trust.

Maybe some people think this is just rhetorical or moralizing mambo-jambo. But it’s not! I am not talking about trusting everything and everyone you come across with. That would be a kind of “blind trust”, which is not good either. I am talking about a smart trust. And the first action you can take is choosing to believe in trust. This doesn’t depend on anybody else but you. Beliefs drive our behaviour and our actions. What you believe is more important than what you know. Do you believe you are worthy of trust? Do you believe people can be trusted? Do you believe that extending trust is better way to live?

I already said that the first person you have to start with is you. To what extent are you giving yourself and people a person they can trust? What can you improve in relation to your character and competence so that people will extend trust to you?

Another action you can take to achieve that smart trust I mentioned before is to declare your intent and assume positive intent in others. Make yours this motto: “You are positive intended unless proven otherwise”. Do what you say you are going to do. When we don’t do what we said we were going to do, then we generate mistrust... And if you want to “regain” that trust you’ll have to right the wrong.

Be the first one to lead out in extending trust to others. If you want to be a high trust person, take the lead! You will have self doubts. We all have! But if you take the lead to extend trust to yourself and others then you will contribute to create a greater world. Extending trust is a continous journey. Ask yourself this question: How is someone’s life better because they’ve crossed in my path? Trust yourself and you will find some answers and, most important, you will become a greater person!
Brief Profile
Michael Thallium is a Global and Greatness Coach based in Spain. Michael has spent many years of his life traveling around many countries and continents, sailing the seas and flying the skies all over the world. Since 2008 he is dedicated to his passions namely coaching, language & communication and music.


Dr Amit Nagpal, India

Why do some people inspire trust and some do not? How do we decide a person is trustworthy or not? Does perception play a major role or the competencies/character of the person?

I will share my experiences and views. I decide whether the person is worth trusting based on the following factors viz.

·    Vibrations and Body language
·    Track record
·    Required competencies
·   Personal preferences/Attitude assesment (particularly positivity, ethics and selfishness)

Vibrations and body langauage-I have a strong sense of vibrations and get turned off by ultrasmart and snobbish behavior. It is easier to tell lies with the verbal language but body language can reveal many truths. Sometimes it may reveal nervousness, shyness and so on which may not be negative traits as such but may create problems in certain professions.

Track Record-A person’s track record can be judged based on past behavior or the documents (experience certificates, awards, recommendations and so on). The track record must be matched with our requirements. We may be looking for a very loyal friend (with long term commitment) or employee for example. Once bitten, twice shy-someone who has ditched us in the past may be difficult to trust. A client asked me once, “If somebody assures that I have improved, should I forgive and move on, inspite of the bad experience in the past?” My reply was, “Do not trust such a person with an important assignment immediately.” Trust should develop slowly and more crucial the task to be entrusted with, the more trustworthy the person has to be.

Required competencies-The knowledge, skills and attitudes required for a specific task are of course critical to inspire trust. The assesment of the same can be done formally or informally depending upon the situation.

Personal preferences /Attitude assesment- Who inspires trust to me is also a matter of my personal preferences. A selfish person may be professionally competent but I find it easier to work with collaborative (give and take) rather than selfish people. Positive and ethical people inspire more trust and I like to engage in a conversation to find out how genuinely positive and ethical a person is. I have conducted stress interviews and think on the feet exercises for years and that helps me in judging people quickly. With experience also, we tend to develop a sense of catching lies.

People who are brutally honest can hurt you for a while but they inspire trust in the long run. Personally, I find it difficult to trust excessively diplomatic people.

I am reminded of continengency theory of management, which says that each situation is unique and hence there is no standard formula for a managerial situation. These guidelines are very broad and therefore whether to trust, how much to trust, which tasks to trust (with) and when not to trust can only be decided based on the situation.

A smart and trustful person will be liked and respected more than an innocent and distrustful person. But to trust or not to- remains the question.
Brief Profile
Dr Amit Nagpal is a Personal Branding Consultant & Global Success Coach. He is based in New Delhi, India and specializes in personal branding with a holistic touch. His philosophy is, "Enlarge as a Human Being, Excel asa Social Media Being and Evolve as a Personal Brand.


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