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  • Writer's pictureGeorgiana Cameron

What helps build trust?

Our world relies on trust. We have to place our trust in others all the time.

We trust that the road has been built properly. We trust that when we give money to someone for coffee, we will get a coffee. We trust that a stranger walking down the street is most likely harmless. Trust can take time to build, yet can break down very quickly. Researcher Professor Paul Zak from Claremont Graduate University has spent his entire career trying to understand why and how humans trust. I have adapted these ideas about how we can support trust from his book Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High Performance Companies. Recognising strengths

Everyone has a deep need to be recognised for their efforts. Recognising strengths is most powerful when it is unexpected, personal and specific. For example, instead of ‘you are so kind’, you might try ‘I see how kind you are when you helped that person to...’ Supporting autonomy & growth

We all love to achieve and feel growth. We love it even more if we are supported to do this on our own terms. We are more motivated and thankful for opportunities when given autonomy. Being reliable & consistent

Trust can be built by seemingly small actions. Turning up on time shows a person you care. When we are not reliable, people begin to lower their expectations of us and consequently trust us less. Showing vulnerability

Trust requires us to be vulnerable. We could be hurt, someone could betray us. One of the best ways to build trust is show your own vulnerability. Let someone know something that exposes you a little, and they will feel more comfortable to do the same.

Being honest & reducing uncertainty

If you care for someone let them know. Reducing a person’s need to second guess your feelings or intentions makes it easier for them to trust. It doesn’t always have to be huge declarations of love, it can be ‘I like spending time with you’. Being generous & kind

Trust is built on the expectation of reciprocity. And if there is no reciprocity it is usually not a great relationship. We don’t have to be generous with money or things, time and thoughtfulness are impactful gifts. #buildtrust #buildingblocksoftrust #positivepsychology #positiverelationships #buildingpositiverelationships #love #vulnerability #vulnerabilityisstrength #paulzak #recognisestrengths #supportautonomy

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