#BlogElul 11: Trust

Trust is a fascinating concept – hard to get, easy to lose.

As babies, we start off trusting everyone – what choice do you have, when you are completely helpless and can’t walk or talk? You are entirely in the hands of the adults around you, which is why babies are so incredibly cute, to bring out the best instincts in their caregivers, one hopes.

As we get older, we become more selective in where we put our trust. That’s where it becomes interesting. How do we decide whom to trust?

It’s a truism in the sales world that people buy from people they know, like and trust. Knowing and liking I understand, but where does trust come from?

A fascinating article from the Harvard Business Review suggests that we know intuitively when a person is likely to be untrustworthy. The article mentions four visual cues that people use, but unconsciously – the people in their tests did not know how they knew that the people they were looking at were untrustworthy, but they did much better than chance. It’s an interesting article, click over and read it, I’ll wait.

The article concludes that, if you don’t have information one way or another, it is better to err on the side of trust. It’s talking about business dealings, but I think that that is a good maxim to live by in general. Absent positive reasons to mistrust someone, it is usually a good idea to give them the benefit of the doubt.

What do you think?

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