I was in a panel discussion the other day and was seated next to a woman that is the head of HR for a large corporation. The discussion was about how to better engage Millennials, specifically as it relates to corporate volunteerism. She said something about trust during one of her responses that I thought was great. She pointed out that when someone new comes to work for her, there is a significant degree of implicit trust that they are given. First, they are hired, showing trust, then you give them a $2,000 computer and a $500 phone, then you teach them about your company (the good, the bad and the ugly). In all of these things you are giving them a great deal of trust, so why not trust them to do their job well also? Don’t hold their hand, trust them and see what they can accomplish.
I think we can take that concept out of the business arena and apply it to all of our relationships. I have talked before about believing the best in people (here and here), which is just trusting that their intentions are good until proven otherwise. Starting with trust in relationships gives people permission to be authentic and authenticity helps relationships to grow.
Starting with trust is not always easy, but for people to perform their best, and for relationships to grow, it’s essential.