The three dimensions of trust and the art of building it

The foundation of any healthy relationship is trust. However, virtually everyone can recall a scenario where trust has been broken. We often use different terms when we talk about trust, regardless of how crucial it is. Despite its all-encompassing meaning, trust can refer to many other things.

As defined in the dictionary as “firm belief in the reliability,” trust is seen as an intangible. It is one of the most sensitive and crucial success drivers that is hard to build. It is essential from three viewpoints, business, culture, and people. 

Anyone can use the power of trust to build the gap between each other for positive results and the human need for connection. We can also use our trust to build and repair those relationships and bonds that we share with everyone in our lives. The important thing is to understand how trust can benefit all aspects of your life for the better and understand the three dimensions of trust.

The Three Dimensions of trust

Trust of character

Do you say you will be there for things when it is needed? Are you reliable? Do you meet deadlines?

When people are trusted to keep their promises and say what they will do and do what they say they will do, they are trusted for their character. Credibility is built up over time, for example, when you keep your word, honour your intentions, and meet any implied or agreed-upon expectations. For the trust of character to become a cumulative state, you must engage in five specific behaviours:

  • Maintaining consistency
  • Delegating responsibly
  • Promoting mutually beneficial intentions
  • Setting and maintaining boundaries
  • Keeping commitments and agreements
  • Controlling expectations

It reflects your dependability and shows the extent to which you are dependable and the level of support you give to others. This dimension of trust is very significant. 

Trust of communication 

The willingness to share information (not confidential information) with others, the channel you choose to communicate concern, and the art of giving and receiving constructive feedback defines communication trust. 

Trust in communication helps you and people in your life establish clear and consistent attitudes regarding your shared work and commitments. Trust promotes openness and transparency and allows for a risk-free environment where you can share and receive information. Additionally, trust helps judgment and feedback, which helps to improve outcomes. Communication built on trust leads to effective interpersonal relationships that have a shared purpose. This cumulative state is enabled over time when you engage in six specific behaviours:

  • Being able to accept and give constructive criticism.
  • Owning up to your mistakes.
  • Respecting confidentiality.
  • Information and knowledge sharing.
  • Speaking truthfully.
  • Speaking with good intention.

Trust of capability 

Capability here refers to the skills and competencies you possess to do a task and fulfill a responsibility. For everyone, the art of assigning tasks and providing help and the readiness to accept and use information from others reflects a leadership capability. 

However, you will notice that everyone’s level of trust is different, and there will be people in your life who hold a higher level of one component of trust to another. Everyone’s trust comes in various forms, and that trust will decay if those low levels are not rebuilt. 

Others trust you because they believe you are capable of meeting the requirements they have established for you. Trust in capability goes beyond a transactional state based on task-specific skills. You also require a positive/can-do attitude, demonstrate an interest in the work need and outcome, and confidence and openness, enabling you to work well with others. Trust in capability is strategic in perspective. It also assumes your ability to grow, learn, and develop with every new assignment. Four specific behaviours enable this cumulative state over time:

  • Acknowledging others’ skills and abilities.
  • Allowing others to make decisions, including others and inviting their input.
  • Helping others learn new skills.

Trust is one of the most complicated aspects of a relationship between people, and trust within your family can be even more complex because of the number of people involved. Every effective relationship is rooted in trust. As a result, if you want to build strong interpersonal relationships and have high-quality people in your life, you have to trust others and be trusted yourself. Building, maintaining, and rebuilding trust takes a lot of work. Committing to practicing trust-building behaviours every day is one way to create better relationships at work.

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