Building Trust and Relationships

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Trust is defined as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”

It’s been said that “We don’t attract what we wish, we attract what we are.” If we want to attract trustworthy people, WE must display these qualities first. We cannot command a person to believe in our character or our ability to lead. Lewis Cass was right when he said, “People will doubt what you say and believe what you do.”

How do we build and nurture trust? 

The answer is in building relationships with members of the organization. We may tend to think of relationships with fellow employees as less important than our personal relationships.

However, we spend one third of our days with the people we work with. It seems wise then that to cultivate these relationships would put us in the best position for what we’ll call Collective Success.

Solid relationships in life are often built on meaningful shared experiences. These mutually shared experiences are what form a foundation and create lasting memories. (This happens when we say, “Remember the time when…” and our laughter follows.)

Trust can be experienced best when a sense of peace, security and belonging are all present. This is often observed in children at play who are all about the same age.

I remember this as a 10-year old boy, playing baseball on summer afternoons with my neighborhood friends. We didn’t compare notes on whose parents had the most money or spend time discussing the gossip of the day. We rarely argued, and if someone did, we collectively shut down the whiner… and played ball… and had fun. We had an innate sense of community. (And, I’ve seen this become harder to come by as an adult.)

As an adult, I’ve discovered that the person I am when I’m “playing” or “living freely” is the person who is most open to input from others and new ideas. I don’t care which restaurant I go to. I’m open to hiking whatever trail you’d like to hike on. I mainly just want to be with you and enjoy your presence.

There’s what I call an “Equality Factor” seen here. These shared experiences have the ability to break down the barriers between departments and individuals. They can create many positive memories… if they’re allowed to happen.

From a business standpoint, ultimately it’s not the quality of one’s products or goods that will ensure continued sustainability and success, as much as it is the quality of the relationships of the people within the structure.

One of the truest acronyms we know is T-Together, E-Everyone, A-Achieves, M-More. We need Visionaries and we need Accountants. A true teamwork culture values the diversity of its members and regularly draws on that diversity to accomplish its goals. There truly is a strong Unity which can occur amongst Diversity.

We’re finding today that paychecks and perks are no longer enough to secure the loyalty of skilled employees. There is an underlying, emotional void which must be filled if persons are to experience the same innate sense of community that we felt on the playground or ball field when we were younger.


Bruce Hamsher