One on one trust

When people define trust, they usually relate it to integrity. However, the more complete meaning of trust gets lost.

trust: reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. (

The most important dimension of trust is that it gives you confidence. Integrity is one dimension of confidence, but competence is another. You don’t trust a friend to give you medical advice (unless they are a competent M.D.) and you don’t trust an M.D. to be your divorce lawyer. Trusted advisors come in many flavors.

Integrity and communications effectiveness apply to them all, but competence is context-dependent. As we build trusted relationships with other people, both as advisors and as people we advise, our paramount need turns out to be a feeling of safety. When you package integrity, comfort in communicating, and competence into a purposeful relationship, you feel safe. A person’s competence gives you confidence in their opinion, and the person’s integrity and ability to communicate comfortably without tension is what makes an individual, an audience, or an organization feel safe and motivates them to elevate you to the position of a trusted advisor.


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