Why Trust Don’t Come Easy

Nothing has changed. Richard Starkey recorded it 44 years ago. “I don’t ask for much, I only want your trust. And you know it don’t come easy.”

What makes trust so difficult to gain and retain?
Why have we lost our trust in business, trustgovernment, the media? Even in each other?

Trust is a very simple concept. Trust is confidence. Confidence that what we hear or read is the truth. Confidence in something’s or someone’s character and integrity. Confidence that some unknown future will turn out the way we’ve been led to believe it will. But trust don’t come easy.

Trust is confidence.

And those who gain it are masters of one particular skill. Managing expectations. Because our expectations influence what we experience. And memories of those experiences are what enhance or diminish our sense of trust. When trustworthy people provide us with information, they give us the basis for that information. Because they understand that we make erroneous assumptions. If they know we expect them to be a certain way, they always act in that particular way. Because they know that we crave consistency. When they make a prediction, they give us the upside, downside and most likely scenarios of that forecast. Because they’re well aware that situations change. And, when they make a promise, they keep that promise. Because, well, that’s just the type of people that they are.

When they make a promise, they keep that promise.

It sounds simple, but today’s transparent and chaotic world is antithetical to trust. We know more about people than we care to know about. Organizations rush to release information before it is fully vetted. “Experts” make claims without substantiating them. Overworked people overcommit to remain in good favor with the “boss.” And those trying to influence us confidently promise a future that’s impossible to manage and predict.

Why?

Because, in many cases, that’s what we want them to do. We’re turned on by hyperbole and hope, bread and circuses. And unless, and until, we demand something different, we’ll continue to get more of the same. Unsubstantiated claims, half-truths, bewilderment and broken promises.

So why is it so hard to gain and retain trust?

We’re turned on by hyperbole and hope, bread and circuses. And unless, and until, we demand something different, we’ll continue to get more of the same.

Because, in a fast-moving environment with conflicting priorities, trust don’t come easy. It requires us to slow down. To create clear and definitive systems. And to nurture and reward an unwavering adherence to our principles. Or, as Ringo Starr also made clear in his hit song, “Got to pay your dues, if you want to sing the blues. And you know it don’t come easy.”

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