Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

The Importance Of Being Trustworthy And Trusted

  The grandson of the first blind man is leading them to the place they will play.

In the pilot episode of Fringe, a Fox TV drama about an FBI agent drawn into situations involving strange phenomena, Walter Bishop (actor John Noble) says about being in a mental institution:

There are so many things you lose in a place like that. You lose being trusted.
Strange how important that is once it’s gone.

One of the most valuable commodities we have is the trust others give to us and the trust we find at work and within our families and network of friends. Consider this: Are there some people you interact with regularly but whom you don’t trust?  What is it that causes you to feel that way?

*Have they ever failed to do what they promised? 
*Have they ever lied or not told the entire truth? 
*Have they tried to make themselves look good at someone else’s expense?
*Have they purposely created problems for you?
*Have they placed blame or taken credit unfairly? 
*Are they generally undependable about doing high quality work–even though they may “mean well”?
*Have they said something to your face and you found out later they said something else behind your back?
*Have you trusted them, then they let you down or did something devious?

Those are all reasons for losing confidence in someone.  It may be that some of their actions were unavoidable or you are mistaken about what they did or said.  Make sure you have the facts before you take someone off your list of trusted people.

The next thing to do is to look once again at that list of things that can cause lack of trust.  Do any of them describe you at some time in your work or life? Even if no one confronted you at the time,  it may be that someone feels differently about you because of something you did a long time ago.  Look for every opportunity to demonstrate that you are trustworthy now. 

The final activity that will benefit you and others is to express trust in your words and actions. Give people reasons to believe in you and tell them how much you believe in them.  Those aren’t just nice interactions at work, they are ways to reinforce the valuable aspects of being trustworthy and being trusted.  You won’t fully appreciate the importance of it until it’s gone.

January 7th, 2010 Posted by | Personal and Professional Development | 6 comments


  1. Ronald Reagan said: “Trust, but verify.”

    Comment by C.M. | January 11, 2010

  2. I love Fringe and I love Walter Bishop! But I REALLY love Peter Bishop. 🙂

    All of us discussed this article last night and we decided most of the problems in our department are because of lack of trust.

    Comment by denisek | January 12, 2010

  3. This is very thought provoking, Tina. I want to be trusted but am I always worthy of that trust? That’s a question for me to consider carefully. Should I give everyone else the benefit of the doubt that I want people to give me? I don’t think so, in spite of the Golden Rule about doing unto others, etc. Trusting wrongly shows bad judgment and I don’t want to be guilty of that.

    I’m going to use this as a way to think about those I trust and those I don’t, and to decide what basis I have for considering them in either category. As I said, very thought provoking!

    Comment by Fr. M. | January 16, 2010

  4. Tina says: Thanks to all of you for your comments. I’ve responded by email to each.
    C.M.: I always liked that Reagan quote!

    Denise: I like Peter Bishop too! I really like that show!

    Fr. M.: Thank you for your thoughts. I value them and wish you’d comment more often. You can even disagree with me you know! T.

    Comment by TLR | January 17, 2010

  5. I just found your site and can see it will be a great resource for me. I’m an HR specialist in a good sized organization and feel that I sometimes go from crisis to crisis with problems and complaints. Most of them could have been prevented with some forethought and consideration. Your posts are based on sound reasoning. I will be sending links, I’m sure!

    Comment by P.L. | May 21, 2010

  6. Your site is an excellent resource for those who work in the HR field. Something for everyone! 🙂

    Comment by Happyallthetime | June 14, 2010

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