Overuse of the word “trust”

The term trust is overused; trust means too many things to different people. In the global workplace. The term trust is thus rendered useless, for all intents and purposes.

For example, here is a dynamic between Germans and others with whom they work:  Follow the process and I will trust you; when I trust you, I will follow the process.

Or another example seen between Chinese and Americans: Mr. Wu and Mr. Smith sign a 40 million dollar deal. Then Mr Wu asks Mr Smith to hire his son for a year so that the son  can get a visa to the US. Smith does not trust Wu because he is corrupt. Wu does not trust Smith because “I just did him a favour, and he won’t even help me with my son”.

There are of course many more examples of words which lose their meaning in the global workplace; in a previous post I elaborated on the term  respect.

I have spoken over the years I have been consulting with thousands of people who do trust one another, and I have developed ten statements which operationalize what trust is. Here in the public domain, I will share 3 of the ten.

1) We represent one anothers’ views when the other party is absent.

2) We implement what we decide upon.

3) We assume positive intent.

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4 thoughts on “Overuse of the word “trust”

  1. That is a fascinating subject. Personally, I hold trust as a process, not a relational state. My first step: listen from the world the other speaks from while managing differences and agreements. Speak without deceit, say what is true for me recognizing that truth is personal and culturally tinted. Speak out for that which I can and cannot support. Second step: Be aware that when I make a request or a promise, I am creating priorities. Third step: Follow-through. Fourth step: Consistency in follow-through. The end state: Reliability in words and deeds.

    I don’t know any other way and would love to hear how it pans out in other people from other cultures.

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