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Below are the articles in the Trust category. Each article title is followed by a brief summary introduction to the content. Click "Read Excerpt" for a more comprehensive review. Click "Add to Package" to buy or redeem the article.


Are You as “Good as Your Word?”

Keeping agreements is vital for the health of any relationship.

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“Like litter on the side of the highway, most unhappy relationships are strewn with broken agreements in all shapes and forms,” said Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D., author of A Home for the Heart. From canceling dates at the last minute to “forgetting” to do something we said we would do, broken agreements cause an erosion of trust, the basic foundation of any relationship.

Giving our word and standing by it and being steadfast and reliable in our affairs are measures by which we judge commitment and integrity. For this reason, agreements—both spoken and implied—should be given thoughtful and careful attention....

Making and keeping agreements requires that we are honest and that we intend to carry through. Thoughtful and careful agreements require that we listen to our inner voices and pay attention to our bodies for clues to our feelings about the promises we make.

Whenever we make an agreement we need to ask ourselves, Is this a pledge I really want to make? Is it realistic for me at this time? What will it take or what will I have to do to keep the agreement?

Becoming a Trusted Leader

Trusted leaders inspire the best performances from their teams, but how do leaders gain that trust?

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“We can build our leadership upon fear, obligation, or trust. However, only a foundation of trust results in the collaboration and goodwill necessary to achieve our peak performance.”

These words, from organizational design expert Roger Allen, could hardly be more succinct in expressing the central role that trust plays in building and leading high-performance organizations.

With the integrity of our business leaders under such a microscope these days, it’s valuable to take a moment for a refresher on trust in leadership. For integrity, though critical to trust, isn’t the only element of a trust-based management style. According to Seattle-based management expert Stephen Robbins, trust is based on four other distinct elements in your relationship with the people you lead:

Competence. At first this may seem strange—after all, can’t incompetent people be trusted? Of course, but not if you want to lead. Leaders are held to a different standard, and part of what your team trusts is that you know what you’re doing. It comes with the territory.

Credibility: A Critical Foundation of Leadership

Credibility is a three-legged stool upon which strong leadership is built.

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When people trust and believe in you as a leader, they’ll follow you far and without much question. But without credibility, that critical foundation of leadership, you face an uphill battle, because you’ll have the extra strain of trying to pull people along with you. And whether you’re the one pulling or the one being pulled, pretty soon you’re both weary and ready to give up.

Credibility stands on three legs: expertise, trustworthiness and integrity.

Expertise is an objective judgment, determined by such things as your credentials, your rank in the company and your prior accomplishments.

Trustworthiness is a subjective judgment, formed over time from a person’s experience interacting with you. Do you do what you say you’re going to do? Do you know what you say you know? How does it feel to work for you?

Do You Have Trust Issues?

Trusting can be difficult if you've been hurt in the past. This quiz helps you see what role mistrust may be playing in not living the life you truly want.

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Trust comes in different levels and flavors for everyone. For example, one person may completely trust family members, while those may be the last people that another individual is willing to open up to.

It can be difficult to trust if you've been hurt—as a child, in a romantic relationship or in a situation that seemed "out of the blue." Rejection, betrayal or abuse are never easy to deal with.

But sometimes we build such a strong wall around ourselves that we miss opportunities to develop wonderful, healthy and lasting relationships with loved ones, friends and colleagues. Answer true or false to the statements below to discover what role mistrust may be playing in your life.

1. I keep my problems to myself.

2. I don't like to depend on others; they almost always let me down.

3. Revealing my weaknesses to a romantic partner is too risky.

Learning to Trust After Betrayal

How can a person learn to trust again after a betrayal? This roadmap can help.

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Whether it’s by a sibling, colleague, spouse or other close individual, betrayal slices through us like nothing else. It shatters close bonds, destroys self-esteem and breeds insecurity. It’s almost guaranteed to cause pain, heartache, shock and fury.

But it is possible to mend the wounds of betrayal. It’s possible to conquer rage and regain dignity. Most of all, it’s possible to trust again.

To get through betrayal, it’s helpful to have a roadmap—a plan, if you will—for what to expect and what you might want to consider. Here are some ideas, followed by a list of books that can help with the process.

Get support. Sharing your feelings helps to release the pain. Make a clear-eyed choice here. Will you be best served by support from your family, friends, therapist or a supportive group?

The Truth About Lies

Making excuses, omitting the truth, image touch-ups...these everyday lies can cost us plenty.

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“Always tell the truth. That way, you don’t have to remember what you said.”—Mark Twain

When it comes to lies—especially small, everyday kinds of lies—Mark Twain’s advice is right on the money. Lies always exact an emotional toll. They take energy to maintain and keep us from growing in ways that we need to, but may find uncomfortable.

They often have a way of backfiring, too, with one fib leading to another and ultimately “costing” us more than just energy. An inaccurate résumé may cost us a job offer, or a “touched up” image may cost us a new relationship.

But most important, lies keep us from experiencing each other’s humanity and vulnerability—and our own.

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