The Importance of Trust in a Work Relationship
I’ve been married for 47 years. I have run my own business for 33 years, and done business with more than a few of the same clients. I’ve gone to the same doctor for 35 years. What is the secret to all of this longevity? Trust. It’s as simple as that. The importance of trust cannot be understated.
It’s no different than the secret to a good relationship with your children, with a vendor, a boss, or a friend. If you trust one another, you can work out almost any problem, because you can trust that the other person will be working with you, trying to help you resolve the issues. And that only begins to demonstrate the importance of trust.
If you’re like most people, at one point in your life, you told a lie—and more than likely, you got in trouble for it. And if you’re like most people, at another point in your life you were tempted to lie, but you didn’t. I’d be willing to bet that the repercussions of that circumstance were not as drastic as the first.
It all starts with a handshake
Trust in the Work Environment
When you enter into an agreement, whether that be a marriage or an employment agreement, it’s with the understanding that both sides will be honest. If you want the agreement to work, you need to adhere to the honesty part. That means when your boss asks you to do something, make sure you do it. Don’t tell the boss that you’ll do it and then fail. If you don’t complete the task, you have earned the first checkmark ❌ against you. Chalk up too many of these and you’re sunk.
On the other hand, if you earn a reputation for being reliable and getting things done, then you suddenly become the ‘go to guy’ (or woman), and whenever something important needs to be done, you get the call ✅. That call may include promotions, too. Now you may be beginning to understand the importance of trust.
The same reasoning applies to the home front. If your spouse asks you to do something and it doesn’t get done, then the nagging and repeated reminders begin within about five minutes (usually). However, if you consistently deliver on your promises, then you’ll earn a reprieve of at least a few hours, if not more.
It’s no different on the boss side. If your boss continually delivers on promises, like assurances to provide resources, before long, you will begin to trust them and act accordingly, even to the point of telling the people under you that the boss will get things done. As the picture below implies, it’s all about trust. (And trust is not restricted to humans.)
Trust—the Secret to Almost Everything
So how do you build this relationship of trust? It’s simple. Don’t lie. Tell the truth no matter how embarrassing it might be. No matter how afraid you may be.
When you were a child and your parents asked, ‘Did you do that?’ It was tempting to lie and say ‘no.’ And it took courage to fess up and say, ‘yes.’
Nothing has changed. It is still tempting to lie, and it still requires courage to say ‘yes.’ But the rewards are there.
You’ll see those rewards in the respect you get. In the way that people look at you. And, if you persevere, in all of your relationships, work, marriage, and parenting. And nothing can be more rewarding than that.
What’s the Difference?
I said earlier that the importance of trust cannot be understated, but let’s look at real life.
George Washington lived a myth of telling the truth—the sacred myth about the cherry tree, while Richard Nixon lived the real life story of telling a lie—Watergate. One person became one of our most beloved presidents, with his image enshrined in Mr. Rushmore, and the other was impeached—tossed out of office with his head bowed in shame.
If it were me, and I was faced with two paths to take, I think I’d take the trust/truth one.
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Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of gritty crime dramas about murder, mystery, and family. And he also writes non-fiction books including the No Mistakes Careers series as well as books about grammar and publishing. See the complete list here.
He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 45 loving “friends.