Two habits of highly trustful people

This is the second in a series of posts from hand-picked guest bloggers about trust. The idea was kicked off by me rewatching Game of Thrones and thinking about its twin themes of power and trust.  

My second guest blogger is Steve Davis. Steve is an Adelaide-based
marketing consultant and radio commentator who keeps a personal blog
at You can also find him on Twitter, where we first connected. Steve is actively engaged in the Adelaide marketing community.


Whenever the subject of trust arises, I always think of the two
important insights I’ve gleaned from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of
Highly Effective People.

I try to adhere to these principles and when I slip they haunt me.

The first is based on the notion that every time we fail to keep a
commitment, we  make a withdrawal from the ‘trust’ account of the
person we let down.

Covey argues that even seemingly insignificant incidents of failure to
follow through can erode the trust others had placed in us.

Of course, life throws curve balls at us and most of us juggle
numerous commitments.

His solution is twofold: get better at saying no up front, and be quick
to renegotiate commitments as soon as it looks likely you cannot keep
a promise. Both of these options incur some pain, but Covey believes it
actually preserves or builds trust between both parties.

The second of the two principles of trust is the notion that when you talk negatively about someone behind their back, you are actually eroding trust with the person you are talking to.

His insight is that the listener begins wondering what you might be
saying about them behind their backs.

Of the two principles of trust, I have found the latter to be much
easier to apply in the cut and thrust of life.  On those few
occasions when frustration has led me to vent about another, Stephen
Covey’s words instantly begin haunting me.

0 thoughts on “Two habits of highly trustful people

  1. I truly believe that the “7 Habits” should be required reading. The two principles you have spoken about are very important in building and maintaining relationships of any kind. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Agree. The only thing that stops relationship building though, is other people who don’t build relationships. They may have their own agenda, they just don’t care or they just don’t see the benefits. Until all parties are committed to relationship building & meet each other half way, relationships will suffer.

  2. Thanks Cullen and findingourwaynow – I wrote this for myself because it is a constant challenge to keep the compass in view!
    Diane, while I agree about relationships being a two way street, I believe we can still cultivate trust through our actions so that if or when the other party is ready for a relationship there will be fertile ground into which the seeds of a relationship can be planted.

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