Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships

Stephen Covey

Is trust more about you or more about them?

Why do you trust someone? Is it because, “she’s the same in public as she is in private”, is it because, “he’d never ask me to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself”, is it because, “she’s objective and always presents both sides of an issue” or is it because, “he tells you the truth, even when it hurts”?

In the 1993 book, A Construct of Trust Dr. Duane C. Tway, defined trust as:

the state of readiness for unguarded interaction with someone or something

He also defined three components of trust:

  • The capacity for trusting
  • The perception of competence
  • The perception of intentions

The capacity for trusting means that your total life experiences have developed your current capacity and willingness to risk trusting others.

The perception of competence is made up of your perception of your ability and the ability of others with whom you work to perform competently at whatever is needed in your current situation.

The perception of intentions is your perception that the actions, words, direction, mission, or decisions are motivated by mutually-serving rather than self-serving motives.

What I find interesting in the work of Tway, is that he shifts the emphasis from what others are doing to what we are thinking – our attitude, i.e., the focus of attention is on oneself and less on the other.

As Doug Strycharczyk wrote in a recent article ( , “Perhaps when we are thinking about trusting another, it’s useful to start with me

Doug, in his article, goes on to explore the impact that our Mental Toughness has on our approach to trusting others and comes up with some interesting avenues to explore.

Doug’s next post in his series will look at the issue of Trust and Mental Toughness from another perspective – whether or not you view yourself as trustworthy”, if you do, you might be more willing to think other people are.

A mind that trusts itself is light on its feet

Nathaniel Branden


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