I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trust. It’s because I’ve been witnessing far too much mistrust. Mistrust makes progress so much more difficult. It creates more hurdles than there need be. It erects barriers that are difficult to climb.
As I sit back and watch certain circles of mistrust, I think to myself: “I know both of these people, and they’re both good people. Why don’t they trust one another?”
What it boils down to is that they really don’t know one another. I can remember being on the ground floor of building a community organizing group in Milwaukee. We hired an extremely well-qualified individual to lead our organization. He and I seemed to have little in common. We liked each other well enough, but I certainly never thought we would become friends.
That’s exactly why he intentionally took the time to sit down with me, one-on-one, and took the time to get to me…and I him. We got to know each other not as “labels,” but as people, individuals with families,with likes and dislikes, with passions and pursuits. As a result, we have become great friends.
The key to trust is getting to know someone else as a person. I love the old quote: “Be nice, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
- Don’t mistrust
- Don’t dislike
- Don’t look askance
- Don’t think you can’t be a friend to someone….
Until you have taken the time to really get to know someone.
Trust makes the world a much better place. It makes progress easier. It makes hurdles disappear. It tears down barriers.
Whom is it that you most mistrust right now? What would happen if you sat down, face to face, and really got to know her or him?
I challenge you to give it a try. You may be greatly surprised at the results.
At the very least, you will develop an empathy for the hard battle someone else is fighting.
What advice do you have for building trust?