“The Most Expensive thing in the world is trust… It can take years to earn and just a matter of seconds to lose”

I am sure that you have experienced how trusting relationships are simply easy and flowing, whereas ones without trust require much more work and involve conflict and power struggles. In fact, without trust, there is really no relationship, because there is no foundation on which both of you can relax, enjoy and create togetherness. A relationship without trust might be exciting, but feels like “them and me” rather than having a sense of union; which is its the ultimate purpose.

This article gives you six straightforward ways of building trust in both your personal or professional relationships.

1. Make the needs, feelings, opinions and desires of the other person as important as yours. I have mentioned this first, because it is perhaps the less appreciated of all the elements of trust. However, without it, you could be perfect in the other 5 areas and would have missed the point entirely. So here is a question for you; do you give the needs, feelings, opinions and desires of the other person equal importance as your own in all moments? Do you always look for a “win-win” outcome in your conversations where you ensure the other persons needs and desires are met as well as yours? If not, how can you practice refining your character until this is your habitual attitude in all your relationships?

2. Listen to comprehend. There are many levels of listening. The vast majority of people only listen in order to respond or do not listen at all. To listen to truly comprehend the other person, by which I mean to be able to see the world as they see it is a skill. Skills take practice. I dedicate the whole of the first module of the Be a Great Communicator program to developing this skill. It is amazing the feedback that the participants make about their insights into what it truly takes to be a good listener and how superficially they were listening before, without even realising it.

3. Be honest, loyal and base your life on ethics, i.e. be a person worthy of trust. I believe that most people like to think of themselves as an honest person, however, they manage to justify in their mind all the little lack of sincerities or small actions which are not so ethical. Are you clear about the values that your life is built on? Do you have them written down in a values statement? Do you regularly question your actions and their alignment with your values? As you do, so you will begin to lose your self-denial and justifications. Interestingly, you will also find your self-esteem and self-respect growing.

4. Be capable of completing your responsibilities and commitments. So far we have talked about the attitudes, skills and priorities that begin to refine your character, which of course are fundamental to developing and retaining trust in your relationships. However, you might have the most highly refined character, but if you are not capable of completing your responsibilities and commitments, you will be unable to maintain the trust of the people around you. Let me give you a metaphor. Imagine that one of your nearest and dearest was about to have heart surgery it would not be enough to know that the surgeon was a jolly decent fellow, you would also insist that he was a highly skilled surgeon. In all types of relationships, be they romantic relationships, friendships or professional relationships there are responsibilities and commitments that need to be fulfilled. For example in a romantic partnership or marriage there are economic responsibilities, responsibilities for maintaining a home, a healthy diet, often for raising children and the emotional commitments that the couple has agreed on etc. If you are unable to complete one or more of these responsibilities or commitments, this will erode the trust between you and your partner.

5. Be interdependent. The late Stephen Covey talked about 3 types of relationships that we can have, each evolving from the one before. The first level of evolution is dependency, for example children are dependent on their parents. To break away from being dependent we step up to the next level of becoming independent, however this is in itself just a stage of evolution towards the third stage. To have a healthy adult relationship where we realise that we are interdependent. This means that you do not rely on the other person to meet your physical and emotional needs (dependence) nor do you expect to be able to maintain a thriving relationship with complete and utter freedom (independence). A healthy adult, interdependent relationship means that you give to the emotional and physical needs of the other person and enjoy how they give to yours, you recognise that a relationship involves certain commitments and responsibilities which you joyfully meet and yet at the same time you maintain your self leadership. Meaning you are aware of who you are, what is important in your life, the values you choose to live by and ensure that you stay true to them.

6. When there are challenges, focus on the solution, not the person. The final area for creating and maintaining a relationship based on trust is how you deal with the challenges and difficulties that life will undoubtedly put in your path. The more you have refined your skills and character during the easy moments in life, the easier it will be to draw on those skills and attitudes when the pressure is on. Otherwise you are likely to fall into the so common and unhelpful habit of finding blame and guilt rather than solutions and enter into the destructive spiral this creates. If you are skillful in moments of challenge you will instead focus together on:
- Defining the problem
- Understanding the causes
- Finding a solution

What is amazing about people who can approach challenges in this way is that by doing so they actually strengthen their relationship and union rather than being forced apart by it. In this way challenges actually become an opportunity to rapidly develop and deepen their trust.

So as you can see, trusting relationships are developed by refining your character moment by moment and opportunity by opportunity, by being conscious and sincere in your choices and actions. They are also created by developing your skills and abilities as a person to master your life in your internal world (feelings, thoughts, desires, self-control and emotions) and external world (your ability to complete your commitments and responsibilities).

Author's Bio: 

SadaNam Kaur is an expert in professional & personal mastery, social & emotional intelligence. A pioneering coach & profesional development consultant, through integrative and accelerated learning.

She has worked in personal development and coaching for over 20 years and has supported thousands of people to take the next step in their lives, through courses and 1:1 coaching.

She was one of the first people to develop coaching in the U.K. http://howtomasteryourlife.com