So far this week we’ve covered two high trust behaviors from Stephen M.R. Covey’s powerful book The Speed of Trust: Listen First and Make and Keep Commitments.  

Today we tackle the third: Extend trust.  

For some of us, this is the tough one.

We’ve been taught to make someone earn our trust… “I’m not going to trust you until you prove you are trustworthy.” 

That’s one way to live life.

It’s safer.

We don’t get taken advantage of.  As much.  We don’t get disappointed.  As much. 

But we also pay a price for this mindset.  Having a “prove it to me” attitude has a way of keeping people at arm’s length.  That’s one extreme.  The other extreme is trusting everyone unconditionally.

The best answer is likely somewhere in the middle.  

As Stephen tells us: “Learn how to appropriately extend trust to others based on the situation, risk, and credibility of the people involved. But (my emphasis) have a propensity to trust. Don’t withhold trust because there is risk involved.”


Reflection: What would it cost me to extend trust intentionally more often?  What are the benefits to doing so?  

Action: Be proactive. Look for an opportunity to extend trust.

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