In recent readings, research, and discussions, the topic of “trust” has come up. This could involve questions about how do we know whether we can trust information from a source our individual. This involves questions about building trust in an organization. This has also included questions about building trust with others in a relationship on a more personal level.
From a literacy, or educational context, I’ve seen these questions about trust arise when I discuss areas that extend from critical evaluation of online information to blockchain technologies. In these instances, I think of trust in digital spaces as “truth in labeling” or looking like the content or author is sincere.
Of course, these interactions and the development of trust with digital sources changes when we think about the human that exist behind the created content. How can we understand, evaluate, and possibly trust them?
How do you build trust? How do you lose trust? Do people ever really trust other individuals, sources, and/or entities? Does trust really matter in our relationships and interactions?
Trust seems difficult to define as it is the residue, or after-effects of interactions between individuals, sources, or entities. Wikipedia defines trust as an emotion defined by reliance and entity, or the converse being a misplaced loyalty.
Trust is sincere intent followed by consistent, related action. It seems to be the intersection between the dimensions of predictability, value exchange, delayed reciprocity, and exposed vulnerabilities. You cannot have trust without distrust. You cannot build or measure trust without sticking yourself out there to build or potentially lose it.
How can you build trust?
Giving trust involves taking a risk. Trying to reduce the risk means possibly reducing the trust involved in that relationship.
One of the challenges in identifying, building, and losing trust involves understanding that our views on trust are impacted by social forces, as well as our own personal ideologies and epistemologies.
Honesty and timing are key factors in building and rebuilding trust. Be truthful and realistic. Communicate.
Transparency. You need to dare to bare it all in the relationship and put yourself out there.
Practice what you preach. Lead by example.
How do you build a trust culture?
Trust is the belief by the trustor that the trustee is capable of delivering on a promise. Trust is the belief by the trustor that the trustee is honest and fair and will not exploit the trustor’s vulnerability.
If you start with trust and stick to it, others will follow. Trust can be part of the DNA of what makes up the habits and practices of the culture.
Trust is like blood pressure. It’s silent, vital to good health, and if abused it can be deadly. – Frank Sonnenberg
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