Simply put, trust means confidence. The opposite of trust – distrust – is suspicion. When you trust people, you have confidence in them, in their integrity and in their abilities. When you distrust, you are suspicious of them – of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities, or their track record. It’s that simple. We have all had experiences that validate the difference between relationships that are built on trust and those that are not. These experiences clearly tell us the difference is not small; it is dramatic.
Take a minute right now and think of a person with whom you have a high trust relationship – perhaps a boss, coworker, customer, spouse, parent, sibling, child, or friend. Describe this relationship. What’s it like? How does it feel? How well do you communicate? How quickly can you get things done? How much do you enjoy this relationship?
Now think of a person with whom you have a low-trust relationship. Again, this person could be anyone at work or at home. Describe this relationship. What’s it like? How does it feel? How is the communication? Does it flow quickly and freely…or do you feel like you’re constantly walking on land mines and being misunderstood? Do you work together to get things done quickly…or does it take a disproportionate amount of time and energy to finally reach agreement and execution? Do you enjoy this relationship…or do you find it tedious, cumbersome, and draining?
From “The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything” by Stephen M. R. Covey