Did you know that a recent Gallup research has indicated that people follow leaders for very specific reasons? People described those reasons with astonishing clarity. They were trust, compassion, hope, and stability.

In order to have others trust you, you first have to trust yourself. When you initially ask yourself if you are trustworthy, you will probably do what I did and nod your head affirmatively. But when you start asking yourself at a deeper level if you really trust yourself, can you still answer yes?

Before you answer that question, take a moment to read further to see if you embody the qualities that other people associate with trust. The first one is easy or so it seems. Are you honest with yourself? Do you look at your weaknesses and limitations and acknowledge them to yourself and to others? Do you recognize your strengths and allow them to flow through you?

When I think of honesty, I think of being truthful to myself and to others. Here is where it gets hairy. We have grown up believing that white lies are okay; they protect other people from harm. So we grow up with the belief that we can’t tell the truth, because other people can’t handle the truth. We also hide things from ourselves, because we believe that we can’t handle the truth.

I grew up with a family who hid elephants in the middle of the living room. We all knew the dysfunctions occurring in our family, but we pretended they didn’t exist. The funny thing was that pretending didn’t stop the eventful pain we all suffered. The pretending didn’t take away the issues. I often wonder what would have happened if we would have had the strength to discuss our dysfunctions. I’m certain there still would have been some pain, but could we have stopped it from leaking all over our lives for years and years?

Honesty is a bit illusive and never as easy as it seems, but it is the first step toward building trusting relationships whether they are in your home or office. When people doubt what you say and see the differences between your words and actions, they tend to separate from you in order to protect themselves. This distance creates disharmony.


Another aspect of trust is consistency. Who are you from hour to hour and day to day? Can people around you expect to see the same you every day? I remember when I was a young and very moody basketball coach. The players would send a teammate to my office to gauge my mood. She would then inform her teammates whether it was going to be a good or a bad practice. Before we even started practice, the mood had been set, and because they never knew what to expect, they were fearful. They didn’t know who was going to walk through the door.

Can you see how this stopped great communication from flowing? The players didn’t want to come to my office to discuss issues, because they didn’t know who they were going to find. Due to my unpredictability, I created separation. I also didn’t discover what I needed to know in order to get the team to play their best.


There are other qualities of truth that you should examine. Ask yourself if you embody these qualities:

  • Personal integrity
  • Sincerity
  • Vulnerability
  • Openness to discussion
  • Involvement
  • The ability to resolve conflict
  • The capacity to ask others for help

Being truthful is not as easy as it first appears. It is never quite as black and white as we want it. Truth requires a lot of self work, yet the rewards are well worth the work.

Can you imagine the benefits of having better relationships where people can talk to you without fear or judgment, rejection or punishment? Can you imagine how people will feel around you when they trust you exude sincerity, integrity, and vulnerability?

If you want to create relationships that will ignite passion, commitment and innovation, then begin with trust.