In Episode Four, we talk about how trust is earned. In this case, I use the word earn very intentionally. Trust is not something that you just give out to anyone without them earning it first. Quick spoiler alert, trust is actually earned in the final step of the cycle that I outline below. Let’s take a look at the four-step cycle.

In step one, a commitment is made. Whenever you are working with someone, whether it is a friend, a professional contact, or a family member, and they are trying to earn your trust, you must first establish clear expectations. When those expectations are set, they will make a commitment. Let’s use an example. Say you have a piece of information, like a secret. You go to tell someone that you hope you can trust. You ask them, “Hey, can you keep a secret?” The expectation is set; if they say yes, then they have made a commitment to keeping that secret.

This brings us to step two, hope. Now you are in a very vulnerable position where that person who has inspired hope is the one in control. You are simply hoping that they will not tell anyone that secret. Therefore, we transition right to step three, the critical step, the fork in the road. If the person who has made that commitment, who promised not to tell anyone that secret, breaks their commitment, the entire cycle is broken. It will be at this point that it is transparently clear that you should not trust that person.

However, if they deliver on their commitment, the cycle continues to step four, which is the final step where trust is actually earned. Just like we talked about at the beginning of the cycle, trust must be earned in this last step. From there, you can continue offering increasingly frequent expectations, and your counterpart will make more and more commitments. This will offer deeper opportunities for that person to earn your trust.

Let’s do a quick recap. Step one, a commitment is made. Step two, hope is inspired. Step three, that commitment is delivered on. Step four, trust is earned. If in step three, the commitment is broken, the trust cycle is completely shattered, and trust cannot be extended to that person. As always, we appreciate you reading the BlankScreen blog. Check us out on YouTube. It is a lot more fun to watch these things get drawn out. We will see you in the next episode!

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