Photo by: Katinka Bille Lindahl



Mark, here we go again?


Enough with this trust stuff, Mark! To which I say, NO!! We may extend trust that is not SMART TRUST (to steal a book title from one of the Covey’s), but we can never (and I try not to use that word NEVER very often) be DONE with TRUST…I’m not done with it…We each have a journey with trust. For some of us, that journey is at a snail’s pace.


So, yes, here we go again with trust.

Recently I was listening to an Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast.


In the podcast, he said that when there is a gap between what we EXPECT people to do and what they ACTUALLY do, we put one of two things into the gap. I like to say when there is a gap in COMMUNICATION (another Here we go again…), we tend to put in one of two things. What are those two things?




Which of the two is the HEALTHY WAY?

Which of the two BUILDS TEAM?

Which of the two BELIEVES THE BEST about the other person?


Guess what?...Same answer to all three questions…TRUST!


Suspicion erodes relationship.

Trust, handled wisely, builds relationship.


I know which CULTURE I prefer. How about you?


I believe we have to build a muscle here. Left to my own devices I can (to use an old term) spin a yarn quite quickly about “YOU.” I’m quick to give myself the benefit of the doubt. Why is it so hard to do this with others? A teammate? A spouse? An old friend? A boss? An employee?


As a team member who works a client of mine says,




I like that. What would your workplace, your home, your community, our world, look like if we were consistently practicing gracious assumptions about others?


I’ve discovered that when I practice this idea of ASSUME GRACIOUSLY, things go better for me. I don’t carry around these imaginary narratives in my head that weigh me down. I can live more freely and lightly when I assume the best about others, especially those closest to me (who are, by the way, sometimes the ones who, for me, pose the greatest challenge to assuming graciously…).


Time to clarify. A client said recently that for him, it’s hard to extend trust right out of the gate, say with a new employee. He asked me how to do that. I said that first of all, it’s important to thoroughly vet new hires. There’s a saying that goes like this:


The reason we are slow to fire

is because we are quick to hire.


So, slow down the hiring process. Hire to culture. Oh, and references…in our world today, we tend to not get a whole lot of useful information when we contact references listed on a resume. Instead of asking questions that rarely get answered, try this: Ask of the reference: Who would you talk to if you were me?


  1. Let’s get back to the client’s question. IF you’ve taken your time to hire someone who is qualified and fits your culture, give them a




I believe in you…You are right for this job…Go for it! Then, they have to “PROVE” that you misplaced trust in them. See the difference?


Trust is both EARNED and EXTENDED. With the new hire, extend trust first.


Now, and I’ve shared this before…trust is hard to earn and easily lost. It can be rebuilt over time with consistent behavior.


Handle trust with care…


It has two components: COMPETENCY and CHARACTER. Most often it’s built through competency; lost through an issue of character.


One last point. BE TRUSTWORTHY yourself! Model what that combination of competency and character should look like. Speed of the leader, speed of the team. Show your team the way. You’ll be glad you did!


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