Trust versus suspicion small business

Trust vs. Suspicion – how to be a big dog leader

When there is a gap between expectations and execution, we have a choice to insert either trust or suspicion. 

Have you ever been in a culture where people are constantly assuming the worst of people?

Before becoming an entrepreneur, I had the pleasure of working with some really positive teams that taught me a great deal about leadership, influence, culture, and business.

One of the greatest things I’ve ever listened to, was a talk by my favorite author, Andy Stanley called “Trust vs. Suspicion.”

The principle is based in the Bible verse that people hear during wedding.  THe one in Corinthians that says “love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not rude, self seeking, irritable,. Love always hopes, always trusts, always forgives.”

Love always Trusts.

That sounds like I’m advocating being naive and foolish right?  Well leadership assumes that you can help plant the seeds of positivity, love, and encouragement while still acting shrewd.

When we interact with people, we don’t need to be suspicious of the reasons why they do things, but we can choose to stick a “10” on people’s forehead, and assume the best. 

Stick a “10” on People’s Forehead

When you assume the best in people, I think we act in a way that spurs them along towards integrity, character, and positivity.

You can be shrewd, and still insert Trust rather than suspicion.

One of my guilty pleasures are watching fail videos and Cops. The other day I sat down and watched a youtube video that had 25 videos of stupid criminals.  What do all criminals do? LIE.

It’s funny though, after showing many different police departments dealing with people, they showed the Vegas Police Department – which was much different.  The Vegas police department is obviously dialed into the tourism mantra of being wild and crazy in Vegas – which means that they tend to be very understanding with people.  What was most interesting is that it seems like when they interact with people, the first reaction they have to someone is that they are probably just overly drunk, and acting foolish; not someone who’s a criminal in need of punishment.  Obviously the laws in Vegas permit public intoxication, but the police have a whole other demeanor than the other ones I watched.  Because they approach the situation with a little more trust rather than total suspicion, they seem to have a better response to their interactions.

That’s probably not the best example in the wold, but think about when you’re workign with someone and they are constantly questioning your motives, assuming ill-intent, and refusing to simply “bear with you.”

Bearing with people is a skill that we all need to grow

As leaders, one of the ways that we can increase our influence, is to rely primarily on trust rather than suspicion when people leave a gap between expectation and execution, but another is to simply bear with people.

I’m not suggesting that you lower the standards for people, and not expect excellence – but I am saying that sometimes we need to show a little common sense mercy to people when they’re screwing up.

This means that you put up with other people being rude, and then interact with them in a way that draws them “upwards and forwards.”

Just because people do things that deserve scorn and punishment, doesn’t mean that the best leadership decision is to administer what they deserve.

Bearing with people means that you look past the foolishness in some people for a period, in an effort to influence them upward and forward.

Bearing with people provides leadership opportunities.

Trust vs. suspicion and bearing with other people are big ideas, but those of us with more than one child tap into this more than we know.

We Understand Trust vs. Suspicion and Bearing with Others When Our Children Fight as Siblings.

When your kids start fighting with each other, you want them to bear with one another, and insert trust rather than suspicion.

When my five year old starts being suspicious of everything her little sisters says and does, it wrecks the whole families time.  Suddenly their relationship is fractured, they get irritable, and they’ve started to exhibit defensiveness, anger, and hurtful language.

I don’t allow a 5 year old daughter to Insert suspicion rather than trust with her Sister, why is it different for adults?

Suspicion can rot the culture of your company, and the big-dog leadership attitude is to bear with people, stick a “10” on people’s forehead, and use our influence to transcend the miss in execution.

Lead people upward by transcending gaps in execution

After you’ve helped be a leader, now it’s time to help people be worthy of trust.

Doing what we say we’re going to do, is what earning trust is all about.  The best way for this to work, is everyone committing to being trustworthy.

The Best Way to Earn Trust, is to be Worthy of Trust.

I hope this helps you in your leadership, your attitude, and in your pursuit of executing in your business.

About Rob Satrom

Entrepreneur, father, personal finance expert, husband, and founder of and Nuance Financial Tax & Accounting. I love helping small businesses

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