Trust is widely understood as a necessary ingredient for effective leadership and collaboration. But it’s another word we tend to be sloppy about.

Trust requires more than having integrity — or “being trustworthy.” It also requires actually being trusted.

Two tips for increasing the likelihood of that happening:

  1. Read the room. People are less likely to extend trust to someone who is oblivious to what is happening around them.
  2. Extend trust. I hope each of us has experienced what it feels like to be trusted by someone ahead of having proven ourselves. It causes us to step up and behave at our very best — and to admire the person who extended us that opportunity.

Trust is essential. It is also a learnable skill.

For more on trust, I’d recommend having a look at Stephen M. R. Covey’s work (I like Smart Trust), as well as Sandra Sucher and Shalene Gupta’s The Power of Trust. These are some of the titles we’ve covered in Wiser by Choice — the one-hour digital book club where I read 4-6 books a month so you don’t have to.

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