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Business Relationships: Trust is a Two-way Process

Do you recall your mother yelling at you, “Never trust a stranger?” Well, that’s what all mothers say, and children trust them. The reason i...

Do you recall your mother yelling at you, “Never trust a stranger?” Well, that’s what all mothers say, and children trust them.

The reason is that strangers could kidnap, harm or even kill you. Strangely, your parent’s wisdom could have become a trust business term.

By @Comic24Derick

When you start your business, you are a stranger, people don’t trust you because they have been cheated before by a company that once promised to offer them a certain service. 

The salesperson then disappeared into thin air.

Build trust

As an alternative, yet novice service provider, why should they trust you? To build a regular customer base, that will return for your products and services requires more than marketing skills, it also demands you to build trust.

As you have noticed earlier, in life relationships, family, and business, trust is a fragile commodity that demands effort, commitment, resources, and time for it to become a formidable entity. In a split second, it can be erased, and you are left alone.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” Warren Buffett warns. (Image:

Trust is a two-way process; it takes both sides to develop and maintain it to work. It involves emotions and dedication, and if not taken seriously, it can result in unrepairable damages, companies being sued, and even jailed.

Definition of trust in business

There are two things about trust: either you have it or you don’t at all, you can’t have it in small amounts, it doesn’t work that way. According to Stephen M. R. Covey, trust is not just words, but rather an action that translates into action.

Apart from being action-oriented, and practical, trust has a value attached to it, meaning you need to invest time and resources, to access it.

“Contrary to what most people believe, trust is not some soft, illusive quality that you either have or you don’t, rather, trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that you can create,” said Covey.

Trust conquers love

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved,” mentioned George Macdonald, implying that trust has more value than love. When someone trusts you, it means they love you as well. You can only trust something you love, but you can love but you don’t have trust.

American journalist and author, Eric Sevareid had no problem in trusting someone who attempted and failed, rather than a man who always believes he is right all the time.

Individuals who make mistakes and admit their mistakes are honest with their feelings, willing to be corrected, in contrast to someone who is proud and thinks he is right all the time. “Better to trust the man who is frequently in error than the one who is never in doubt,” said Sevareid.

Self-belief is key

Many people including prominent people have at some certain stage encountered self-trust problems. Some committed suicide, doubting their ability. By doing so, they took their talents with them to the grave.

Fortunately, some have found mentors who have encouraged them to discover themselves and become self-worth, and their lives were revived. The recommendation: find a shoulder to lean and cry on.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s argument spurts these views, “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

Trust is symbiotic

“The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way you can make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him” – Henry L. Stimson. If you show trust, you are likely to receive the same. If you don’t trust others, the same will apply to you.

Again, Booker T. Washington believed that giving a task to someone, and leaving the individual to make an independent judgment, has more lasting impressions, than constant monitoring, which reveals you doubted the person in the first place, and probably your delegation was a mere test.

“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him,” said Washington, who advised many United States presidents.

Few reasons to doubt others

There are times when you believe you are all alone, the world is crumbling on you, and the only definite way is falling or writing your death wish. Maybe your company is faced with litigation or liquidation, while an ongoing crisis shows you nothing but bleakness ahead.

If you share your problems and trust someone to intervene, you may never know the differences he can bring. At such time, Anton Chekhov proposed, “You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson weighs in and instincts to apply a natural skill unique to humankind to deceiver what is the best way out of a situation, without necessarily using your brains.

If you want to find the logic behind your instinct, it might not exist but the outcome may even surprise you. “Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason,” Emerson observed.

Trustworthy in business

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” Warren Buffett warns in his overused, yet relevant statement. A reputation is built on trust, and once that disappears, it may take ages to recover. 

A fraction of an hour is only what it takes to lose the trust you struggle to build, according to Buffet.

Trust has a heartbeat

Companies, relationships are pinned down by a fragile component called trust. And once that is gone, hate and hurt will take over. A saying by Brian Tracy says more.

“The glue that holds all relationships together – including the relationship between the leader and the led – is trust, and trust is based on integrity.”

Without trust, health complications are likely to result. If you remove trust from any relationship, you will invite diseases into your body. Maintain your trust, and you have earned your ticket to a long, fulfilling life.

“Trust is like blood pressure,” Frank Sonnenberg mentioned, the author of Follow Your Conscience. “It’s silent, vital to good health, and if abused it can be deadly.”

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