I am always fascinated by the topic of trust. There are so many interpretations of trust in relationship to business. Some people “trust” others easily until proven otherwise. Some people never fully trust anyone other than a select few that meet unrealistic expectations. Most people feel trust needs to be earned based on a timeline of experiences. Is the person capable of being trusted? Are they able to deliver upon a promise on a consistent basis? Are they capable at performing requested tasks at the level required to be trusted? Are they sincere and genuine in their performance? Do they care about more than themselves? These are all questions that one might ask before they “fully” trust someone.

Once trust has been earned, why is it so easy to lose? Of course there are those gross violations of trust that cause us to question whether our trust is warranted. But many times the trust is lost for relative small things or the accumulation of small things over a period of time. So why is it that the trust bank account can have so many deposits and only needs some small withdrawals to call it into question?

I think it relates to the fear of difficult or uncomfortable conversations. We tend to avoid having the conversations that might quickly repair the trust that has been violated. We think we are respecting the relationship by not bringing the “trust violation” up and working through it. In fact, by leaving the “missing conversation” out there we are leaving the drain open and the trust that has accumulated is pouring out without us even realizing it.

Think of someone that you trusted for a long time, what is the missing conversation that needs to take place? Did you really trust this person at one time and you’ve left the drain open for that trust to dissipate? What is it costing you and the person that you once trusted? Are you prepared to let that investment just go away?