Defining Trust

Trust is something very different for each person. What constitutes trust for you, may not be the same for the other person. Trust has two legs upon which it stands:

Leg One:



Track Record

Leg Two:




Trust is a cornerstone for relating and communicating more effectively with others. Without it, barriers and guards go up and performance decreases. There is very limited communication, lower morale, the tendency to become indifferent and time, as well as energy, is wasted in conflicts.

However, when trust prevails, we tend to see open and honest dialogue for effectiveness and improvement. An increase in performance and higher levels of mutual respect. There is also higher morale, productivity and a sense of personal responsibility.

There is even a science behind trust. At, there is an excellent blog that breaks this down in detail. But we’ll look at the basics here.

We all have a “trust molecule.” It’s called Oxytocin. The more Oxytocin you feel, the more connected you feel to someone – the more you trust them. Also, people with higher levels of Oxytocin tend to be kinder, more compassionate, and generous.

So what can trigger Oxytocin? Watching emotional videos. You probably get one in your Facebook feed every day: a soldier returning home to surprise his or her child, the story behind an animal that has been adopted after a painful start in life, even a marriage proposal (at least these are the ones that tend to trigger my “cutting an onion” response). Also, eye contact. Mutual eye contact is critical in building trust, which is why it is one of the number one recommended networking tips. And laughter. Sharing a laugh with someone releases Oxytocin and builds your bond with them.

All that said, we must also be wary to not be too trusting. We leave ourselves open to being taken advantage of in some way or getting hurt when someone breaks that trust.

Forming a healthy level of trust, depending on the type of relationship in question, breeds a better family, home and work life.

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