Trust, the Essential Element in
Building Outrageously Successful Relationships
Ed Rigsbee, CSP, CAE
Trust is defined as confidence, reliance or resting
of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship, or other sound
principle of another person or thing. It's also the glue that binds an
organization together. Just think what you could accomplish with your spouse,
business partner, alliance partner, supplier, customer or employee if you
absolutely trusted one another.
In the mid-1970s, when I worked in Yosemite
National Park, I took up rock climbing. This is a sport in which one quickly
builds trust with their climbing buddy. In the hands of my buddy resided my
lifeline, a rope that came from around his waist, threaded through a carabineer
that was attached to the rock face and tied at the other end to me. While
climbing, when I slipped off a rock face and started to plunge, it was my
climbing buddy that locked the safety rope tight around his waist, keeping me
alive. He determined if I went crashing several hundred or thousand feet onto
the granite below or if I were to just dangle in the air a few feet from where I
fell. In outrageously successful alliance relationships, you must be able to
trust your partner with your business lifeline.
In any Partnering alliance, trust is necessary to
move from inertia to action. Trust is that wonderful, mystical and cherished
virtue hoped for and shared among practitioners of the Partnering Paradigm. In
trust, you're continually putting yourself at risk. While most would prefer to
drink from an emptied wine rather than hemlock bottle, it is the process of
taking risks that is necessary to build outrageously successful relationships.
At times you are certain to be disappointed, but hopefully these disappointments
will be few, compared to the availability of beneficial experiences.
Trust is fragile and not to be mistreated. Jamie
Clarke and Alan Hobson are adventurers. On their third attempt (1998), they
conquered the summit of Mt. Everest. Prior that trip, they authored a book, The
Power of Passion: Achieve Your Own Everests, about their earlier
expeditions. A relationship-devastating situation occurred around fundamental
expedition leadership and goal decisions that were overlooked before embarking
on their 1994 odyssey. Each was dug in, and Jamie made a decision to fill a
leadership void that Alan was unwilling to fill. About this Alan later wrote,
“the most important element in any relationship—trust. Once trust is lost in
any relationship, it is like a mirror struck by a stone. The glass shatters.
Although all the tiny pieces can be glued back into position, the mirror always
shows the cracks. They run deep and numerous.”
Trust building is a journey rather than a
destination. Foster the following behaviors in yourself and look for them in
your potential partner(s).
Tell the truth.
Deliver on your promises and expectations of others.
Walk your talk and act with credibility.
Exhibit authenticity and sincerity.
Be a positive roll model.
Avoid offering excuses.
Present an ethical image.
Use duct tape on your mouth when necessary.
Be open; inform ahead if you cannot meet deadlines.
Help others to look good.
Treat everybody with respect and dignity.
Be consistent in how you treat others.
Recognize and reinforce performance on others.
Communicate clearly, say what you mean and mean what you say.
Break down barriers by giving everybody a voice.
Be respectful of time, yours and others’.
Follow up regularly and offer helpful recommendations through
relationship value updates.
access helpful additional information from Ed Rigsbee at no charge,
please visit www.rigsbee.com/downloadaccess.htm.
2001-2013 Ed Rigsbee
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Adapted from PartnerShift-How
to Profit from the Partnering Trend by Ed Rigsbee, CSP, CAE, published by John
Wiley & Sons, New York, October 2000. All of Rigsbee’s books are available from
Ed Rigsbee, CSP, CAE, is the
author of PartnerShift, Developing
Strategic Alliances and The
Art of Partnering and has over 2,000 published articles to his
credit. Ed travels internationally to deliver strategic alliance keynotes
and workshops. When you are looking for a speaker on partnering, Ed can be reached at
email@example.com or visit www.rigsbee.com.