Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truthfulness, ability, and strength of someone.

Trust building can be a major challenge.

Many of us struggle with the idea of trusting others. When someone says, “Trust me,” we tend to think: “Yeah Right!? You’ll have to earn that!” 

Other individuals are willing to trust without much prior or concurrent evidence. You should be skilled in knowing ways to increase the trust factor in your relationships. 

Trust is a major part in the foundation of interpersonal relationships. It is just as easy to build trust as it is to break it down on a daily basis. If your interpersonal relationships are plagued by that deadly element called “suspicion and fear”, then you might find success if you put effort toward trust-building. To become trustable and/or build trust, you must:

  • Build Credibility Over Time Through Consistency – Consistency is important because if you are acting one way in the first few weeks of your relationship and then suddenly flip the script, it will create confusion and cause your mentee(s) to question if you can be trusted. Giving your word, or promising something, and then not following through with it is a full-proof way of damaging trust.
  • Keep Confidences – It is much harder to re-build trust once it is broken. Do not share personal stories of ministry to a mentee with others. Do not expose a weakness or fault in someone you are mentoring to others in the group or network. 
  • Spend Time To Show Genuine Concern and Motives – Time is more valuable than money. Spending time with those you are teaching and discipling will show your true motives. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. 
  • Follow Through on Your Promises and Commitments – Do what you say. Possibly the most important step to building a foundation of trust is to do what you say you will do. At least try doing it. Even if it is a small thing, canceling or failing to follow through will create hairline fractures in your trustworthiness. Enough of those, and the foundation will crumble. Do not break promises, however small and insignificant they may seem. Trust requires that people know you are dependable.
  • Be Cautious With Critism (Especially In Public Or Front Of Others) – While critism may be a necessary part of the learning process, be careful not to embarrass the mentee when addressing errors, mistakes, or shortcomings. One method may be to handle these conversations one-on-one. 
  • Be Realistic – Understanding that things will not always be perfect and creating realistic expectations for the relationship will help you overcome those small bumps in the road. Make sure to voice these expectations so that you can be on the same page about what behaviours are acceptable and unacceptable.
  • Admit Your Mistakes – Again, admit your mistakes! As much as we would like to always be right, we have to be able to communicate that we can sometimes be wrong. This will only make your relationship stronger and prevent future confrontations.
  • Honestly Communicate With Your Mentees – Never lie. Sounds easy, right? Not always. It’s surprisingly simple to find yourself saying a little white lie to protect your friend, spouse, or even your family. But if you tell the truth, even when the truth isn’t perfectly pleasant, you will become much more trustworthy. Kind of a no-brainer, right? If you never lie, people will sense that, and you will be much more loved and appreciated for your honesty. It is important to voice your opinion, concerns, and feelings in a relationship.