The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him. Henry L. Stimson
Human nature being what it is, we tend to have strong likes and dislikes largely based on our perceptions which in turn are deeply influenced by our biases and prejudices. One of the most common bias pertains to assuming that someone who is shabbily dressed is poor and perhaps not to be completely trusted whereas someone nattily dressed is rich an therefore trustworthy. World over the quantum of white collared crimes is rapidly growing and yet using our quixotic logic, we tend to mistrust people who we are biased against. What we forget this old adage that ‘trust begets trust’.
As individuals we may have often resented our own parent’s inquisitiveness into our affairs which may have bordered on the cusp of insensitive distrust of our activities. Our rational and oft repeated argument would be that we are mature and responsible and so we must be trusted to do the right thing at the right time. In fact if we are pressurized by the constant peering over our shoulder behavior, in frustration we would resort to some unruly behavior, bend some rules, express our annoyance more aggressively or simply revolted. The human mind is conditioned to value its independence and responsibility which unfortunately is often overlooked by those in authority or power, be it parents, teachers, superiors or colleagues.
On the other hand, observe the behavior of people to whom we entrust responsibility and also express our confidence in. More often than not they exceed our expectations, simply because they do not want to let down our confidence in them. There would always be exceptions, but they are few and far and in between. Many of those who fail our trust have either foolish self centered interests or are simply incompetent. While the later can be excused and if possible given a second chance, those who deliberately fail us also need a second chance and perhaps closer supervision. Trusting a person also offers the other person a chance to act independently and discover his/ her own abilities and potential. Even more important is the fact that by trusting a person you are giving the persona seal of our approval not just for his / her integrity but also for their skill, their competence and their resourcefulness.
How does one trust? It is never easy to overcome our personal bias and prejudices. So the first step is to be aware of our skewed thought process and possible irrational approach when we have to deal with people. Once we identify the people to who we need to entrust work, it is essential that w make sure that they have the ability and knowledge to be entrusted with the task. This is to be followed up with a conscious, well thought out plan of gaining the confidence of the others which often entails explaining our expectations of the other, reasons for our confidence in them and outlining the parameters which govern the relationship. Eg. If we employee a driver, it is prudent to check his credentials, then test his driving skills. Give them the brief and expectations and if possible make reference to any favorable recommendations received. Avoid all temptations to do back seat driving but do pass on specific instructions that you would like him to follow. It is Bon Voyage then.
Remember: “The key is to get to know people and trust them to be who they are. Instead, we trust people to be who we want them to be- and when they’re not, we cry.”
- Read the well known parable of the tree talent from the Bible by clicking the following link. http://bible.org/seriespage/parable-talents-matthew-2514-30-luke-1912-28Notice that the master TRUSTS his servants and the first two servants in turn trust the master.; alas the third servant does not TRUST his master and so faces the consequences of his lack of trust.
- Ask yourself if you mistrust people because of your biases and if that is true identify those biases. Do you attach too much importance to hearsay and as a result do not trust easily? Recollect at least 3 instances where you made an error in judgment about people you had to deal with.
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