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Chapter 1. Trusting Others to Act Respon... > Building Trust through Confidence

Building Trust through Confidence

People with the highest self-esteem find it easiest to trust others. And a major influence on self-empowerment, as you will learn in Part II, is self-esteem. Self-empowered people find it easier to trust because their self-esteem and confidence do not depend upon the approval of others. On the other hand, those with fragile self-esteem worry about what others think of them and keep problems and feelings to themselves. They fear trusting others, and this fear diminishes their self-empowerment.

Evaluate Your Trust Level

Evaluate yourself with the inventory below. Check ( ) each statement you believe is true.

  1. ____ If you want something done right, do it yourself.

  2. ____ Most people enjoy personal achievements and want to do well.

  3. ____ When the cat is away, the mice will play.

  4. ____ I am comfortable letting people do things their own way.

  5. ____ I share my problems and feelings with at least a few people regularly.

  6. ____ I worry when I don’t know the status of projects.

  7. ____ You just can’t get good workers anymore.

  8. ____ I prefer to receive frequent progress reports—daily would be ideal.

  9. ____ I want employees to tell me about problems as soon as they occur.

  10. ____ I frequently ask others for ideas about problems.

  11. ____ It’s dangerous to confide in most people because they can’t keep secrets.

  12. ____ A real leader makes decisions, gives clear directives, and does not tolerate anyone questioning his or her decisions.

A: If you checked only numbers 2, 4, 5, and 10, you display an unusual amount of trust in others. People who are trusting typically assume that others are honest and dependable. Trusting people are comfortable sharing problems and feelings with others. People who trust others are people who see themselves as okay, and they see others as okay, too.

The other statements in the list indicate some lack of trust in others’ abilities or motivations. Whether the doubt is related to others’ dependability, commitment, skills, honesty, attitudes, motivation, or intelligence, the result is the same. When you do not trust, you will limit your self-empowerment and be reluctant to empower others. You will also be reluctant to confide in others or to allow them to be part of your efforts, which means that you will miss opportunities to benefit from their support, assistance and creativity.



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