Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life

Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life

Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life

Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life

Synopsis

In business, politics, marriage, indeed in any significant relationship, trust is the essential precondition upon which all real success depends. But what, precisely, is trust? How can it be achieved and sustained? And, most importantly, how can it be regained once it has been broken? In Building Trust, Robert C. Solomon and Fernando Flores offer compelling answers to these questions. They argue that trust is not something that simply exists from the beginning, something we can assume or take for granted; that it is not a static quality or "social glue." Instead, they assert that trust is an emotional skill, an active and dynamic part of our lives that we build and sustain with our promises and commitments, our emotions and integrity. In looking closely at the effects of mistrust, such as insidious office politics that can sabotage a company's efficiency, Solomon and Flores demonstrate how to move from na¿ve trust that is easily shattered to an authentic trust that is sophisticated, reflective, and possible to renew. As the global economy makes us more and more reliant on "strangers," and as our political and personal interactions become more complex, Building Trust offers invaluable insight into a vital aspect of human relationships.

Excerpt

Trust, like love and freedom, is one of those essential human values that everyone understands—until it comes into question and it is time to put it into practice. Then even the most articulate thinker will tend to descend to clichés (“Trust is important”; “Love is beautiful”; “Live free or die”). Everyone knows trust is important. The question is how we understand trust, and, more important, how we can build trust rather than simply assert its importance.

Building trust begins with an honest understanding of trust, but it also requires everyday routines and practices. Without the practices, that understanding comes to nothing. It is now commonplace for couples and companies to participate in offsite retreats or hire short-term counselors or consultants to transform the relationship or the corporate culture into one of trust. But although such activities can inspire people to recognize and appreciate trust and move them to want to change the way they live and work together, such motivational and teambuilding programs do not, in themselves, produce the desired long-term effects. Enduring results necessitate the embodiment of trust in day-to-day behavior; we need to embrace trust and connect it to our moods and the emotional fabric of our lives. But the key to trust is action, and, in particular, commitment: commitments made and commitments honored.

This book has grown out of many decades of experience consulting with corporations and with couples. In that time, the problem of trust has clearly emerged as the problem in human relationships and organizations. We have seen married couples spend small fortunes and a good deal of emotional . . .

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