The topic of trust is a complex topic.
What is trust and why should I give it?
Trust is hard to grasp and it is not easy to define trust clearly. Everyone understands something else under trust and everyone has a different idea of when trust begins and where it ends.
And these different views, these different understandings of trust, contribute to the fact that people often talk past each other.
Everyone lives trust in their own way and deals with the subject of trust differently.
Don’t live in the illusion that people will trust you always without background thinking.
Too often people expect something of you when trusting you.
WHAT WE SHOULD LEARN …
Trust expresses too often positive expectations which arise despite vulnerability and uncertainty.
Expectations are normal.
False is it only, when our expectations are too high and when we have too many of them.
This saying expresses it so well:
“Do not expect too much from the world. We are here to give, not to take.” – Shri Radhe Maa
Too high and too many expectations lead to disappointment and destroy relationships.
Trust needs the will to encounter other people with positive expectations despite the own vulnerability and risk.
We should always be optimistic that a relationship works.
What does research think with regard to the topic trust?
A research project at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies has been working on a conceptual framework for the analysis of trust.
Here, 3 key perspectives of trust were identified. These each provide a different basis of trust and thus also three different starting points for building trust:
Trust needs “good reasons” that result from reason, routines and experiences.
Ultimately, however, trust is created through the “solving” of uncertainty.
“Solving” here means “negate” and “store” (according to Max Planck Institute for Social Research).
To the individual points:
This perspective shows trust as a matter of reason and sees the trust-giver, the person who gives trust, as a rational decision-maker. Whether and to whom we give our trust depends on the benefits, interests and preferences of the actors involved. We decide on the basis of various criteria to whom we give our trust: These criteria include, for example competence, goodwill and the integrity of the trusted party. In this understanding of trust, trust is then comparable to a bet. It is then a calculated risk with a positive expectation. We should know that trust is never without risk. Anyone who trusts another, who provides to speak in the words of Niklas Luhmann, a “risky advance”. Because we can never be sure how a “story” ends.
This perspective draws attention to the fact that trust is often routinely given or given as a gift. Trust is often taken for granted. We are just used to trusting … we often do not think long and give it. In the widest sense, trust is based on routines, and these routines are followed without questioning them. We follow rules and roles, customs (because it’s so common), and act appropriately as others would.
This perspective shows trust as a matter of experience and as the result of so-called reflexivity. The trusting person experiences with certain people and learns from it. So the building of trust can begin in small steps. Confidence is therefore a learning process.
In practice, the three perspectives for building trust build reason, routines and experiences.
All three perspectives are important foundations of trust and, depending on the situation, they can complement, compensate or relativise each other.
In everyday life, one can use all three perspectives for building trust, maintaining trust and last but not least restoring the foundations of trust.
The crucial aspect: the “solving” of uncertainty
It is always important to identify reason, routines, and experiences as sources of “good reason.”
However, this does not yet capture the essential aspect of trust: Trust must always go beyond good reasons and remove uncertainty. And the uncertainty about trust is that, at least theoretically, our trust can be disappointed, even though the person who gives confidence does not expect that. So we remain vulnerable and have no one hundred percent certainty that our trust will be honored, but still believe in it. The doubts are always there.
We can say ….
Only these positive expectations despite the factors vulnerability and uncertainty can be described as trust.
Decisive is therefore the “solving” of uncertainty. The “solving” in this context has a double meaning (as in Hegel), because it is a negating and storing at the same time. In the research project of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies this emphasis on uncertainty is highlighted as the core of trust.
In practice, the following question arises:
When do I stop looking for good reasons, and how can I deal with my remaining uncertainty?