On building trust

Hemingway said that “the best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

That doesn’t mean you give the car keys to a 12 year old, let a drunk pilot fly the plane or promote an incompetent person to a position where their predictable mistakes could do great damage.

But it does mean that when we are dealing with a functional adult we often need to get out of the way of their responsible risk taking and allow them the space for their growth. We need to give them a chance, observe what happens and decide if it works for us. And we have to get comfortable with the reality that it might not.

Ultimately, deep, real and enduring trust is earned,

Trust requires consistency.

Trust builds over time.

Trust creates connection.

Yet if our fear or desire for control prevents us from giving another person the opportunity they need to explore, mature and, yes, make some mistakes, we’ll never get to see who they really are.

The hard part is that trust demands vulnerability and a willingness to let go out the outcome.

If the relationship is important enough it’s always worth it.


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