What and who can you trust when it seems like all the rulebooks have been thrown out? Even 20 somethings are nostalgic for the good old days…
Have you heard the tale of the poisoned well?
There was once a wise king who ruled over a vast city. He was feared for his might and loved for his wisdom. Now, in the heart of the city, there was a well whose waters were pure and crystalline from which the king and all the inhabitants drank. When all were asleep, an enemy entered the city and poured seven drops of a strange liquid into the well. And he said that henceforth all who drink this water should become mad.
All the people drank the water, but not the king. And the people began to say, “The king is mad and has lost his reason. Look how strangely he behaves. We cannot be ruled by a madman, so he must be dethroned.”
The king grew very fearful, for his subjects were preparing to rise against him. So one evening, he ordered a golden goblet to be filled from the well, and he drank deeply. The next day, there was great rejoicing among the people, for their beloved king had finally regained his reason.–Author Unknown
Trusting when you are in volatile and high stress environments can sometimes feel like you are the only one who hasn’t taken a drink from the well. When that happens, you need to bring trust home. Realize what you can control and what is out of your control, and chose not to drink from the poisoned well.
What is in your control are the things you do, say or believe. What is out of your control is what others do, say or believe. Pretty simple when you think of it!
Living in the US right now is a lesson in divisiveness. People are divided along political parties, religious beliefs, and social status.
I regularly check on the state of trust by looking at the data from trusted agencies, like Trust Across America, Edelman’s Trust Barometer, HBR and Forbes. All show trust is on the decline. Talking to friends I hear, “How can I trust ______? They are a _________ (pick the opposing party).”
If you look at everything that separates you from another person, trust will be the first causality in the war that ensues. If you truly want to trust in these turbulent times, look at what you love about the other person and find what connects you.
It takes curiosity, time and effort. But if each of us takes control of what we do, say and believe, we can start bringing more trust to our small corner of the planet. Imagine what would happen if everyone did that.
More trust means more success at work and in our relationships. I can help build the trust in your organization. If it’s your time to tackle this difficult issue, I’m here to help. Get in touch.