You are currently viewing The Ninth Pillar of Trust

The Ninth Pillar of Trust

  • Post author:

It’s one of the most romantic scenes in movie history. Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) is teaching Rose (Kate Winslet) how to “fly” on the bow of the Titanic.

“Step up onto the rail. Hold on. Keep your eyes closed.” He says.

Then the iconic line…Jack asks, “Do you trust me?”

“I trust you,” Rose replies.

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” George MacDonald

I believe most people think of trust in a basic way. In marriage, “I trust that you won’t cheat on me.” In business, “I trust that you will do what you say.”

I thought of trust in this fundamental sense until I met David Horsager. He wrote a best selling book called The Trust Edge, which was a culmination of his years of research on how we can build and maintain the trust of others in business and in life.

“He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted.” Lao Tzu

David identified eight specific things we can do to cause others to trust us more, and his findings became so popular that he was invited to speak before the United States Congress. Most would agree many politicians could use a lesson on trust. 

The subject of his address – What could they do to get Americans to bestow more trust in them?

I was so impressed with David’s book that I had him give a couple of presentations for my own company. His speeches are centered around what he calls the “8 Pillars of Trust.”

In a nutshell:

1. CLARITY – People trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous.

2. COMPASSION – People trust those who reach out when we’re down.

3. CHARACTER – People trust those who choose right over easy.

4. COMPETENCY – People trust those who know what they should.

5. COMMITMENT  People trust those who do what they say.

6. CONNECTION  People trust those who they consider friends.

7. CONTRIBUTION  People trust those who deliver results.

8. CONSISTENCY – People trust those who continually do as expected.

David says there is a lot more to trust than most people realize, and I agree. In the movie, Rose simply needed to trust that Jack would not let her fall into the freezing Atlantic waters below.

“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.” Isaac Watts

But in real life, it’s more complicated. Being “trustworthy” is not black and white, something you 100% have or not. It can be measured in degrees. You can have more. You can have less. And, you can enhance or diminish people’s trust in you through the things you say and do. That’s what David’s 8 Pillars of Trust are all about.

David’s broadening of the concept was meaningful and useful to me. I wouldn’t change anything, but I’ve often thought I might add one additional pillar, one more “C”… 

9. CARING – People tend to trust those who care about them. 

If you believe people care about you, you will be more confident the other 8 Pillars will be true. 

Caring is to me the 9th Pillar of Trust.