The Importance of Being Trustworthy
Good Character is Important – Sometimes True Character is the Last Thing Seen… PZ!
Trustworthiness, both on one’s own part as well as on the part of others around him, allows an individual to have an ordered and low-risk life. Trust itself is a main and vital building block in human relationships, and one can easily see how a lack of trust can lead to a complete destruction of any and all relationships. An individual who is untrustworthy is usually considered worthless, and often finds that he has no true friends. Conversely, an individual who is trustworthy is often considered highly valuable, and will usually be fiercely supported and protected by others around him.
The simplest way an individual can prove their trustworthiness is by keeping their word to others once it is given. An individual’s word acts a sort of promise that one will or will not do something, and one must always keep these promises in order to build trust with others. After all, many people will openly admit that their opinion of another individual is largely based on whether or not that individual is able to keep his word. Even a child’s opinion of his parents can drop considerably if his parents consistently break their promises to him, which can create a conflict of emotion regarding the child’s love of his parents and wariness of their words and actions.
Some individuals never give an untrustworthy person a second chance. This individual can slowly find himself tangled up in a trap of his own making when he is asked to further guarantee or prove his intentions in order to remain in any sort of relations with others. He is essentially exiling himself from others, and can find that it is quite difficult to recover his footing once it has been lost due to a lack of trustworthiness.
BUILDING A STRONGER LIFE
No matter how skilled, independent and determined an individual may be, the simple fact is that he cannot survive well on his own. In all of his interactions with others, an individual needs to be able to understand some basic things, otherwise he may constantly be walking on eggshells, wondering about what’s happening or what may happen. He must rely upon, trust and have confidence in others around him, which means that he must also be reliable and trustworthy in turn. Only then can he build the deep, meaningful relationships that will essentially support him through life’s more challenging and difficult moments.
The Importance of Trustworthiness
“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in tournament if you don’t trust enough.” — Frank Cane
Trustworthiness is one of the key components in making connections and building relationships. I grew up understanding that trusting your elders and superiors were signs of respect and manners. We are taught that trust must be earned. Trust is not “wanted” but “needed” to interact in the workplace and in our personal lives. But are we truly being trusted? Bottom line, in personal or in business, trust is applicable in all aspects of our lives.
Fast forwarding back to when we were kids, imagine a son and mother were crossing the street:
The mother said to the kid, “Please hold my hand so we can cross the street.”
The boy responds, “No, I want you to grab my hand.”
The mother responds, “What’s the difference son?”
The boy insisted, “Mom there is a very big difference; if I give you my hand, I don’t know if you are going to hold on to me, but if you grab my hand first, I know I will be safe.”
The meaning behind this story expresses the confidence of the little boy when his mother grabs his hand. The boy establishes confidence when she grabs his hand because she has all the control to get to the other side safe. Usually when making the first move the other person feels comfortable and tends to open-up.
For instance, when two people are attracted to each other, how do they break barriers? Usually the person who leans in for the first kiss automatically sparks a trustworthiness sense that enables the other person to kiss them back. Sometimes making the first move and delivering with no expectations will allow you to build a significant relationship with another person. In some cases, delivering a favor or a simple gesture may result in you receiving a positive response. In other cases, you may also get taken advantage of, if you are over-delivering.
It isn’t any different in the workplace. You automatically are assigned people you need to work with. When you earn the trust of one person you need to take ownership. It is important to understand that in most cases to build trust, you need to hold them from the hand. You need to show them and tell them that you are there to support them. A simple “I got you” can make a difference, but those three words are insignificant if you do not deliver anything to them. It is critical to interact with others in order to build trustworthiness. In the corporate world over-promising and under delivering is how you become known to be untrustworthy. If you are stuck in a situation where you are unsure of anything it is better to respond with a phrase such as, “that is a good question let me find out and get back to you.” Or “I do not know the answer to your question but let me ask my supervisor and get back to you.” When you admit you don’t know something others will appreciate your honesty. Also making the effort to find the answer will make you trustworthy when delivering answers to them.
In the workplace being trustworthy means, you can be counted on to get the work done. Even if it consists of you doing extra research or giving someone else credit for an idea that is not yours. Think about when you travel, and you get on an airplane. You trust the pilot will get you from point A to point B safely. I will never forget my first time flying as a pilot student with no flying experience. It was an incredible experience that inspired me to pursue my pilot license. However, the terrifying thought that if something happened to the instructor and I would have no idea how to land the airplane was about to stop me from pursuing this dream. In certain situations, we need courage to trust those around us to actively pursue our dreams and desires.
If we don’t trust the people around us; we would not be able to pursue our goals and dreams. All humans need the ability to trust in others in order to succeed in life.
Throughout my life and career, I have encountered people from all diverse cultures and backgrounds discovering the advantages of trustworthiness. Here are some tips to remember:
- Give it your best without expecting anything back in return: Sometimes in our personal life we have trouble trusting people we just met. You will encounter situations where delivering with no expectations is the first step in building a trustworthy relationship.
- Interact and communicate: Ongoing non-verbal or verbal cues will allow you to provide and receive feedback that will enable you to decide if someone is trustworthy.
- Do not underdeliver and over promise: To be successful in the workplace taking the time to research and find the answers will make you a reliable. It can also lead to opportunities to take on higher tasks.
- Give credit for work that is not yours: By acknowledging the work of others you built a sense of credibility, encouraging your contributions and others to want to work with you more frequently.
Overall trustworthiness is a key component that is needed in our daily lives in order to be successful. It becomes an instinct in some cases such as riding in a taxi or flying in a plane. In other cases, it takes courage and integrity to trust those around us with no expectations and simply doing the right thing. I challenge you to give it a try and have a little faith! If you don’t try then you are not living live to the maximum.
Benefits of Being a Trustworthy Leader
These are what you get by doing what’s right and acting with integrity.
In the digital age, it’s easy to present a persona online that follows a carefully crafted narrative. That story line may be true or have elements of truth. We can be whomever we want online. I know people who appear online to have it all figured out, but offline are a hot mess. The converse it true, too: people online who appear kind and genuine are indeed both.
Being one’s self has become a pursuit of integrity and maintaining authenticity.
Admittedly, I hate the word authentic. It’s become clich. And like all clichs, they become one due to overuse and misunderstanding. Authenticity, according to author and management psychologist Karissa Thacker, is “key to reaching your external dreams and achieving internal well-being…. [it] is the process of inventing yourself.” So, there’s value in the term, but we need a different descriptor.
A different term for authentic is trustworthy. A trustworthy leader is someone whom you can rely on to be honest and truthful.
Being a trustworthy leader certainly comes with some challenges, speaking honestly in difficult situations, for example. But the benefits outweigh the difficulties.
Improves your well-being/flourishing. It takes a decent amount of energy to be someone you’re not: the deceit; the energy to maintain a facade and connect make believe dots drains one’s well-being. Thacker says in her book The Art of Authenticity, “The authentic are brave enough to be themselves despite all of the fear within as well as all of the fear in the atmosphere.” When you stand strong in who you are, you build more meaningful relationships. You do work that is strongly aligned with your skills and strengths. These are positive contributors to your sense of well-being.
Strengthens your relationships. When we have the support of others, we have a greater shot at being successful. We need the emotional support of others to pursue goals that stretch us. Emotional support is easier to come by when we have strong relationships. Strong relationships are built on respect and belief in the other person. Trustworthiness helps strengthen both of these relationship essentials.
Strengthens your leadership. Competent leaders use influence to affect change and motivate people. Amy Cuddy explains that “the best way to gain influence is to combine warmth and strength.” Trustworthiness increases these two factors essential to great leaders.
Sharpens your self-awareness. Today’s leaders need to recognize their limits, strengths, and weaknesses. Thacker explains that balanced processing helps a leader become more self-aware through “cognitive, emotional, and behavioral skill.” It allows you to view yourself, others, and make sense of situations with less personal bias. When we can deepen our sense of self by being more aware, we make room for greater clarity of what we can bring to a team, problem, or even a relationship.
Strengthens your resolve in times of doubt. With a sharpened sense of self-awareness, trustworthy leaders can more easily navigate the situations that cause doubt. Doubt isn’t completely unavoidable. Authentic leaders can rely on their consistent character to boost their resolve during difficult times.
Broadens your mind. Thacker writes that authentic leaders are truth-seekers. The pursuit of the truth comes with a broadened understanding of people and the context that influences them. Seeking the truth deepens your understanding of what is and what isn’t reality.
Increases your “appropriateness transparency.” Being yourself doesn’t’ give you the license to destroy people with the truth: “I’m just being honest!” Whether in your personal life or your professional one, transparency must be used to help someone and the business. It shouldn’t be used to destroy a person’s confidence or diminish their potential.
Aligns your behaviors with your values. Trustworthy leaders constantly seek insights into their own self-awareness, this includes knowing their personal values. Knowing your values helps you be more consistent in the way you lead. Consistency breeds trust.
Increases your comfort in recognizing your weaknesses. Psychologist Todd Kashdan wrote , “As people become better able to satisfy their desire for comfort, they narrow their range of experiences and fall out of practice navigating life’s hardships.” In essence Kashdan, along with his co-author, Robert Biswas-Diener, highlight the importance of embracing discomfort. It takes a truth-seeking leader to embrace getting comfortable with weaknesses. It’s the only way forward to address and minimize their influence on performance.
Keeps your ego in check. Misdirected ambition, pride, or even believing your own hype can trick you into behaving in ways that alienate others and undermines valuable relationships. As a trustworthy leader, use the dark side of these realities of life to keep your ego in check.
While it takes constant, conscious choices to be trustworthy, the 10 benefits illustrate its usefulness. The workplace today can use more leaders willing to be themselves. What’s more, we can use more leaders who act in ways that develop mutually beneficial outcomes for both the organization and its people.
WHY TRUSTWORTHINESS IS A VITAL LEADERSHIP HABIT
“The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him.”
Henry L Stimson
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines trustworthiness as being worthy of confidence, and being dependable. It can also be described as being reliable, responsible, safe, secure, and steady.
Trustworthiness is one of the most important qualities in life. It is the quality on which all relationships are built. We are designed to be in relationship with others, and being able to TRUST each other means that we can do more together.
HOW CAN WE BE PEOPLE WHO ARE TRUSTWORTHY?
1. BE HONEST
Telling the truth is HARD. It can feel awkward, or embarrassing. Emotions can run high when your truthfulness is in question. But strong character develops in an environment when it’s safe to be honest. One of the ways to care about others, is to be honest with them. And one of the ways to show that you are a leader, is to always tell the truth, no matter how difficult it might be.
2. PLAY BY THE RULES
When we are in school, or playing sports, or even spending time with our families, there are rules and guidelines. These are in place to give structure to how we behave, how we interact with each other, and we treat one another. You might have a rule at home that you only speak in a calm voice…the rule isn’t there to control you, it’s there to help you care about other people. When you are trustworthy, and play by the rules, you show others that you are dependable.
3. HAVE THE COURAGE TO DO THE RIGHT THING
Leadership is about making choices. We make choices everyday about how we act, about how we treat each other, about the things we say, and about how we respond. Being courageous to do the right thing, even when it would be easier to do the wrong thing, or to even do NOTHING, is evidence of a good leader. How can you demonstrate courage?
4. BUILD A GOOD REPUTATION
If being trustworthy means being worthy of the confidence of others, then we do well to build up our reputation as someone who can be counted on. When other people know that you always tell the truth, that you are someone who plays by the rules, and that you are brave enough to do the right thing, then other people will put their trust in you. They will give you more responsibility, and they will begin to count on you.
Leaders are people who are trustworthy. They do what they say they will do, they care for others in word and in what you do. Trustworthy people are people you can put your confidence in. At Moorelands Kids’ programs we teach kids the importance of trustworthiness as we know it’s a key to success. source source source source