A recent discussion with a friend of mine prompted these thoughts on trust and influence. Project Managers must be purveyors of trust. We must know how to measure it…how to build it…when to remove it…and how to leverage it in our projects.
- There are circles of trust in our lives. Inner circles receive more trust and outer circles receive less trust
- There are different shapes to the circles….they tend to be concentric…(like topography maps)
- These trust circles are one directional. Someone might be in my inner circle of trust even though they would not allow me into their inner circle.
Trust is managed with deliberate intention or it gets managed by default through my emotions. When I default to trusting people who make me “feel good”, it gets me into trouble. My emotions betray me. There are lots of likeable people who don’t deserve my trust.
I should give people the benefit of a doubt in assessing their character (since I can’t fully understand their motives). But I should not give them the benefit of the doubt when giving trust. Trust should be given sparingly.
Whenever anyone breaks trust, they are automatically moved to an outer circle. I push them outward a little for a small issue…and a lot for a big issue. When they repair or restore trust, they can move back inward.
With trust, history counts. When people break trust too often, they lose the ability to restore it. It’s relational bankruptcy.
Beware if the issue behind “broken trust” comes from my own immaturity. Sometimes I get hurt and it’s not anyone’s fault but my own thin skin.
So…be intentional about who you trust and who you allow to influence you.
Thanks for listening.