Trust – what does it mean?

How do you define Trust?

How do you determine someone is Trustworthy?

How do you earn someone else's Trust?


"Trust me I know this terrain" and "Trust me the check is in the mail."

We have heard these somewhere along our way.

Is there a single shared definition of the word trust?


So how do we define trust? There are a number of different ways we can define trust but here are some dimensions of trust and consequent definitions.



   What develops trust is the comfort in knowing that when someone commits to

   something, we can be assured they will fulfill their commitment based upon our prior

   experience with them.  

   Definition 1: Trust means being able to predict what other people will do and what

   situations will occur. If we can surround ourselves with people we trust, then we can

   create a safe present and an even better future.


  Value exchange

  Most of what we do with other people is based around exchange, which is the basis for

  all relationships, business and personal.

  Value exchange works because we each value things differently.

  This principle of   reciprocity is what binds communities and societies together. 

  Definition 2: Trust means making an exchange with someone when you do not have full

  knowledge about them, their intent and the things they are offering to you.


  Exposed vulnerabilities

  When we trust other people, we may also be exposing ourselves in a way that they can

  take advantage of our vulnerabilities. If I tell you in confidence about the problems I am

  having with work, you could use this to further your own career at my expense. 

  Definition 3: Trust means we can expose our vulnerabilities to someone and have the

  confidence we will not be taken advantage of in sharing the information. It is believing

  the person has your best interest in mind.


In closing, trust is communicated in our words and actions. It is our ability to "walk our talk"; our behavior and actions are consistent with our words and commitments.


Excerpts by permission of

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