Terror or Trust?

Trust is the foundation of everything worthwhile. Whether in love, business or politics; trust is at the heart of all relationships. It is a topic of the day from the microcosmos of our personal relationships to macrorealties of politics, media, education, and business.  DSC07868The financial sector is still indicated as the least trusted industry around the world according to the Edelman Trust Barometer.


Trust in the law enforcement is at a historic low point (from Ferguson, Staten Island to Pasco or Charleston), people trust in search engines more than TV news (Brian Williams shamed for his embellishments), trust in the US K-12 education system is in dire straits and our trust in schools as safe places has been stripped away due to the terror of school shootings (my son’s school – in a very “safe” neighborhood – was in a lockdown recently because of a threat of a shooting), we even have trepidations about going to movies (Aurora, Colorado)… or to work, for that matter (post offices, Charlie Hebdo, Twitter), and so on, and so on.

Our trust has been shattered.
Terror is eating away our trust in each other.
We live in the time of trust deficit.

If I allow myself wallow in distrust for too long, I become cynical and jaded. And I don’t like myself that way. I am a trusting person, and for my sense of equilibrium and my ability to work and live a meaningful life, I need to be able to trust.

This is why I’m curious about trust. How do I know that I’m trusting someone or being trustworthy? What goes into the concept of trust? While there are numerous definitions of trust, most contain common elements that pertain to confident expectations of the other person’s future behavior. And the minute when those expectations fail, we feel betrayed, duped, and our trust in someone is gone. What makes a trustworthy leader? How do leaders create an environment of trust?

As a student of trust, exploring what it means for me (who do I trust, why and how do I know), I’ve come across an interesting continuum of masculine and feminine approaches to trust. As I see it, men typically build trust and women create trust. Our different approaches might cause some crave misunderstandings and inhibit trust developing at the workplace. I’ll be exploring this topic in the coming months at some upcoming events and conferences, so stay tuned for more.