Trust; The Oxygen of Relationships

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Trust: The Oxygen of Relationships; PART TWO in THE SYMPHONY OF RELATING

Trust is the oxygen of relationships. In life and in business.

For me, trust results when I experience integrity, authenticity and transparency.

The other day I was musing over the elements of trust and posted the following question on twitter;

"What is the difference between authentic and transparent?"

Here are a few answers.

"In my opinion, authenticity has to do with motivation, transparency has to do with process and disclosure." @tinchtrii

Good question.To me Authenticity is when a person or company acts in a responsible manner. Transparency can be the How.@jshuey

Great question. I think they go hand in hand!@pmcmortgages

Seems to me Transparent is a behavior, Authentic is a quality.One more thought: you can be transparent w/out being authentic, but you can't be authentic w/out being transparent  Transparency is willing openness about your reasoning and motivations, not an unfiltered exposure of every part of you. @ethany

Some interpret "transparent" to mean "loss of privacy." What would be yr definition? I do know many authentic though private people .

Like that (very concise!) Transparency =no hidden agendas @briancrouch.

Trust it's oxygen to community and relationships. Although business publications talk about it's importance consistently,  Nielsen reported earlier this year that 90% of consumers trust their friends and  70% trust strangers to recommend products and services. And just yesterday Edelman released their  Trust Barometer 2010  I often wonder if we under discuss the elements necessary for each of us to trust, to be trusting.

So tell me- what must happen for you to trust?

Here are a few of my thoughts;

First of all, I'm not attracted to mean, evil or narcissistic individuals or ventures. So for me to trust, the person or the business must be one that is kind, in nature and hopefully compassionate. After that it's all about integrity, authenticity and transparency.


Wholeness, completeness and consistency(reliable). If you tell me you're a man it's important you aren't a woman.

If you're a student of social media don't present yourself as an expert in technology.

It is, what it is, not what it say's it is, or hopes to be.

Now integrity does not preclude change.  All things change. Well, at least until they die. So change or die, I say; but along the way be who you are.

The minute any of us get that feeling, "it's a bird, no a plane, no superman," we're looking for other options. So know who you are and know what you and your business stand for, values and mission, then show up as congruent as humanly possible ( I didn't say be perfect, of course you will mess up.)

I've been in-congruent, many times. It's not my goal, rather the opposite of my intention but I've screamed at my teenager and when I do,  you could say I'm just a tad bit out of integrity with my life purpose of inspiring growth, loving him and adding value everywhere I go.

When I act in- congruent with my beliefs and purpose I feel like crap. Integrity it's a moment by moment decision ; will I choose to be, do and say what I believe and who I am? And more importantly, when I screw up will I fess up and dress up?


A verification. Having been proven. Through experiencing, a coming to 'believe or become.'
Authenticity to me is the feeling that something fits, is comfortable and is, what it is. It's not just congruent; it's real.


I love this idea of authenticity as a process, a coming to 'be.'

I resonate with the belief that each of us and our ventures becomes authentic as we experience and come to know what we believe. I feel better around authentic people and businesses. There is no pretense, just a comfortable knowing and the ability to show up true to one's stripes.

I've messed up authenticity too. Sometimes the teacher in me wants to share things I am learning but have not yet  become. This is a little like the company that advertises the management change when all that has changed is the business card not the culture.

You and I don't tell someone we have authenticity. We don't brag about how authentic we are. People know authenticity when they EXPERIENCE it, see it, hear it, smell it; or don't.

Authentic, when I'm myself I feel as comfortable and as real as my old levi's.


The ability to be seen, known. Clear. Clarity.

Derivatives were not transparent, most financial advisor's statements of fee's are not transparent.

Some people, many businesses intentionally don't say things, to avoid lying and in in doing so show quite clearly they are not transparent. Half truths, not saying, disguising, withholding any thing of importance to any one that matters to you; friends, family, loved ones, clients, vendors and team mates, is not 'being' transparent.

Transparency warrants trust. The more willing you are to open yourself up to me, the more comfortable I find myself around you, the more I want to come back. Transparency combined with integrity and authenticity is the recipe for trust.

And trust, well trust is the oxygen of relationships; the framework for the symphony of relating.

I've also messed up transparency.

I've over shared areas that were deemed too personal or private by others and made them uncomfortable. This broke rapport, and damaged trust. Suddenly ,I was not to be trusted, my openness was seen as a threat to relating with me.

I haven't become less transparent but I have learned that caring about others and relating, building community is dependent on my ability to build rapport and take into consideration others feelings, not just my ow
n. I am always transparent, only now I am careful to consider the feelings of others as I engage and build community.

Trust it's as easy as breathing with the help of integrity, authenticity and transparency.

Now it's your turn….talk to me about trust.

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