“Can I trust you?” Is a question we ask every day. We ask it of our friends, family, colleagues, and even the tech companies who hold our data. In our most cherished relationships trust is implicit, while in the fledgling ones it’s unestablished. We all cherish our Gmail and Google search. We grew up with it and we’ve been using it for as long as we can remember. We trust Google simply because we always have.
But, should we trust Google simply because we have up until now? Trust is a continued education. The same way attorneys and doctors update their knowledge, people update their trust in their relationships, for it is far too simple and far too dangerous to trust out of habit. Yet, trust is comfortable and it’s in our nature to seek it.
We seek it for the safety that lies inside it. Every day we’re bombarded by over-stimulation and the need to be hyper-aware. This is why we cherish those trusted relationships that allow us to let our guard down. Where we have a safe space and can turn off the draining observation and hyper-awareness.
It is no surprise then, why trust, is an important part of customer experience and the relationship to a company or organization that they do business with or receive something from. In today’s “shame culture”, trust is one of the most monumental things that keeps a company going. Trust to deliver on goods and products, trust to employ outstanding individuals that care about human rights, trust to care of everyone around including their employees, trust to keep the customer safe. When that trust is broken, it can sometimes be hard to gain back.
One company, Edelman, releases an annual study on this very thing called the Edelman Trust Barometer. Here you can find and learn more about insights on how the same trust we demand from our personal relationships, is demanded from our professional ones as well. It’s something we’re all wondering these days. How do I trust the news? How do I trust my government? How do I trust my chipotle burrito? Does this person actually have this much of a social following?
As entrepreneurs, creatives, lawmakers, and even friends, what are the things you are doing to develop trust everywhere you go? Is it better to broadcast your honesty? According to Edelman, it’s better to let your actions speak, their study points out the two most mistrusted institutions amongst its participants are the media and the government. One always broadcasting the other. Whereas, the NGOs and the businesses are more trusted, but why?
In modern times we’re seeing more companies and private organizations stepping up to solve problems. Look at the philanthropic works of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. While change on a governmental level requires cutting through a veritable Amazon jungle of red-tape, private institutions can mobilize more quickly.
This bodes well for all of us. Now, you can take the future into your own hands. No, you’re not going to be Google and get the world to trust you with their data. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take on an issue and own it. That twenty years from now someone will be writing an article on trust and they’ll say “we trust X simply because we always have.”
Originally written for the Future Party Newsletter