As children core values are instilled in us either by direct communication or observation.  Included in, but not limited to, core values are things like respectfulness, honesty, and trustfulness.  Because they are core values, most of us never think much about them because they become our guiding principles.  However, let’s explore trust. 


Have you ever thought how trustworthy you are?  What does it mean when we say we can be trusted?  


In any situation, our influence on others is enormous, if we are trusted.  However, if we are not trusted, it doesn't matter what our title is or how much organizational or personal authority we have, our influence is virtually zero!


At the basic level, when we are trusted, it means that we can be relied on. Relied on to do what? We can be relied on to do the right thing, whatever that may be.  We are dependable; therefore, counted on to follow through.


Trust is built by sharing information that is timely, accurate, objective and complete. We build trust by keeping our word, doing what we say we will do, when we say we will do it.  How can people trust someone who is mostly talk and no action?


Trust is so fragile.  It is not once trusted always trusted.  Trust must be constantly earned, and re-earned.  Seemingly small omissions, errors in communications or actions, can damage trust very quickly and erode what has taken years to build.  


If we are trustworthy, it speaks volumes about our character. It means we have integrity - our values and our behavior are aligned, and we stand up for what we believe in.  We can be counted on to consistently do the right thing.


If we make a mistake, we don't cover it up or try to make it look like someone else's fault, even if it's going to make us look bad. When we make decisions, we make them after thoughtfully considering alternatives and consequences.


When you are trusted, other people listen to you, ask for your advice, and feel confident that you can be relied on. When you are worthy of that trust, you feel accountable to use your influence responsibly.


Take a minute to think about who you trust, and why? Now take a minute and think about who has placed their trust in you?  Are you taking time to justify and safeguard that trust?  If trust is lost, it sometimes is unrecoverable or, at best, takes a long time to recover.  Don’t let that happen to you!