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Trust. It’s a word we hear regularly.

People cry that we need to rebuild trust in government, business, and communities. It’s a crisis that plays out in the evening news and with every new scandal that is reported.

And trust is a much bigger issue in the smallest places in our lives as it plays out throughout the day. It begins within each of us in small places, where trust is unattended to or just assumed. You see, we were created for relationships, and trust is the foundation of those relationships.

Consider the following statements in which people voice their frustration about various situations:

“You are not listening to me, and it’s clear you don’t really care. Time after time, you have left my needs subject to your convenience. I’ll find someone who truly cares about their customers!”

“Day in and day out, I put in my time, get no feedback or opportunities, and I never know what’s happening. You just assume that I am here to make your life better and never consider what your decisions cost me. I quit this miserable job!”

“You do not understand how I am feeling. Everything you say is either thoughtless or just plain hurtful. And you never keep the promises you make. You haven’t heard anything I said. Night after night, it’s like I am talking to a wall, if you’re even here at all. I want a divorce—now!”

“Yeah? Whatever! You suck! I hate you, Dad!”

“Nobody cares! I can’t take the pressure, and I don’t think anyone would miss me if I were gone.”

What do all these phrases, or perhaps the long and painful experience of silence, have in common? They illustrate a loss of trust, or the trust gap between people, or even within yourself. That gap is painful and upsetting and can lead to disastrous results.

The wider the trust gap, the further away a person will drift…until he or she is ultimately gone. That gap can be lethal, and you might have just a moment to switch the direction, close the gap, and transform the relationship.

The good news is that intentional and mindful efforts to cultivate trust will transform your relationships, and it can start as soon as you take action.

It’s the little things that matter when building trust, especially when little things are done consistently over time. Small deposits of trust build interest and eventually become great vaults of trust. Here is how you build those riches:

Be trustworthy, and build trust from the inside out. It begins when you live with integrity and can truly trust yourself. This begins the transformation in how we live.

Be authentic, and take responsibility for your relationships. We need to be humble in trying to understand others, attending to the little things, and cultivating transparency in our personal relationships.

Be dependable, keep your promises, and communicate consistently. The experience others have with you will be defined by your performance and how you manage expectations.

Be influential, be a good steward of trust, and make a difference in the lives of people around you. Give trust only to those who deserve it, and when someone trusts you, do good things with it.

That is how we can eliminate the trust gap.

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

― George MacDonald

Trust is written by Roy Reid