As somebody who lives with a visual impairment, trust is an essential part of each and every day for me. I find that I experience two types of trust on a daily basis; forced trust and chosen trust. Both of these require a huge level of vulnerability and that too is necessary to any relationship where trust is present.
Forced trust is when you have no choice but to be vulnerable and immediately place your faith into someone or something you have had no previous interactions with. I am forced to trust strangers that I have to ask for help, new clients that I am yet to speak for and innovative technology, just to name a few.
Chosen trust is a conscious decision and is when you place your trust in someone or something that you have had continual interactions with. I continually chose to place trust in my fiancé Amy, my accountant, my personal taxi driver, my family and my friends, amongst others, based on the positive interactions I have with them as well as their ability to deliver on their word.
No matter which type of trust is in play, the key is to always be continually building a deeper level of trust. It is here that you are most vulnerable. It is increasingly harder to gain trust and yet incredibly easy to lose. Because of this, building and maintaining high levels of trust through showcasing authenticity and vulnerability needs to be high on the priority list of all individuals and organisations.
In April 2019, I will be taking on the gruelling Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea to both fulfil a goal of experiencing an ANZAC Day Dawn Service on the track and to support a charity close to my heart. This challenge requires a huge amount of trust. Forced trust will be placed in my local porter who I will meet the day we commence trekking and will rely on to keep me stable as I navigate the ever-changing jungle track. This trust will no doubt be built into a chosen trust relationship as we trudge through the 96 kilometre journey.
I will be trekking alongside 15 others who I have already chosen to trust. My relationship with them all will continue to build greater levels of trust as they too assist guiding me every step of the way. Not being able to see the track means the faith that I place in those supporting me is the deciding factor as to whether or not I can successfully complete this goal. It is important to note that this trust is mutual. I will be demonstrating reliability, support and vulnerability towards each of my trekking team mates and our porters to give them confidence in placing their trust in me. Our planning and preparation in the lead up to our trek has been paramount in building the level of trust required to have the confidence in my own and my teams ability to take on this epic feat.
Whether it is a person that I trust or an organisation that I trust, it is their continued level of reliability, truth and ability that allows me to continue trusting them and wanting to engage with them. So consider where you level of trust sits with the people and the organisations that you engage with. Are they worthy of your trust? And now the hard question…are you worthy of their trust? There is always more that we could be doing to build trust with those around us. It is a never ending yet incredibly rewarding exercise so be sure to place building trust and maintaining it at the top of your priority list for yourself and for your organisation.