Trust is about knowing someone will catch you if you fall…

Another of my grandfathers truisms (don’t know that they were his sayings originally he just used them all the time) “Look before you leap.” A dog will make sure there is a safe landing place before casually jumping. Now in an emergency the dog will jump regardless but for the most part the dog will look first then leap. Making sure there is a solid landing place.

I find that is a problem I still have all these years later. Sometimes I leap without looking. Trust and faith only go so far.  I make the same mistakes sometimes over and over. My big one is trusting people. I trust the wrong people sometimes. I don’t know why but trust is really important to me and sometimes I don’t pay attention. The warning signs are there but I just keep driving and end up stuck in the mud.

Many years ago we did an event where we were falling off a platform into the arms of our teammates. They would catch us, softly, cradling us to the ground. It was called a trust fall. It looks similar to the image on the left. You trust that your team will back you up. You trust that they are who they say they are.

I was never dropped by the team I was a part of.

A orator once said “Let’s schedule trust tomorrow at 2 pm.” Trust is earned. It isn’t given. I think that is the hardest lesson for children. They believe that love = trust. It doesn’t. You earn trust over time.

The same is true at work. You earn trust. It is variable in that there are levels. The meter on the left shows trust as something that can be measured, it can. I know how much I trust some people. based on that when I interact with them I know how far I can go. Sometimes, I ignore the warning signs and trust the wagon people too much. That has often come back to bite me. Any number of times there are situations where I trusted someone I shouldn’t have trusted.

The other line the orator used was “People are motivated by their needs not yours.” In the end my needs or your needs may supersede what our trust covers. We may in the end destroy the trust because of what we need.

It is sad when trust is destroyed. I am not talking about suspicion. Where you no longer trust someone and verify what they are doing. This is where the trust is destroyed and you no longer affiliate with that person. No trust = no relationship. Some trust and you can still have a relationship. But no trust means that relationship is dead.

So my new phrase for the day is “trust but verify.” From now on I am going to work on trusting  the right people and letting the rest of the people that I cannot trust slide away form me.


Learning to trust