Managing Trust Deficit

Trust Deficit

A firm belief that someone or something is reliable, honest, effective, etc. is called trust. Trust has two dimensions – human as well as non-human. At human level, trust means to believe that somebody is good, sincere, honest, responsible, etc. and will not try to harm or trick you. At non-human level, trust means to believe that something is genuine, efficient, dependable, etc. and will not work faultily. Trust deficit means deficiency in trustworthiness of someone/something.

Human personality has two facets – internal & external. At internal level, man is a combination of three interdependent identities of self, i.e., body, mind, and soul. Human body is visible aspect of self. Body plays manifold crucial roles during multiple life activities. A reliable role of a body depends on its healthy profile. A healthy body is fit physically and responds actively on multiple stimuli. Second, human mind is invisible aspect of self. A trustworthy mind is a stable combination of multiple intelligences. The prominent intelligences are perceptual intelligences, emotional intelligences, and intentional intelligences. A stable mind is reflective, sensitive, and constructive. Finally, human soul is spiritual aspect of self. An upright soul is shaped through proper satisfaction of naturally ingrained spiritual urges. The prominent spiritual urges are religious, aesthetic, and ethical. A balanced, moderate, and enlightened approach towards multiple spiritual urges forms a trustworthy soul. A trustable soul is intuitive, creative, and cautious or God-fearing. At internal level, a shared collaboration among body needs, psychological desires, and soul urges figures out a dependable or trustworthy personality. At external level, man is linked with animate and inanimate objects of universe. Structurally, external human links are twofold. They are natural as well as voluntary. For example, a link between parents and children is natural, while a link between husband and wife is voluntary. These links may become inactive on account of multiple reasons. However, one thing plays a cementing role; it is common purpose or vision among interlinked persons/groups. A shared purpose/vision gives strength to human links. A shared purpose/vision thus develops reliable natural or voluntary links among individuals or groups. Purpose sharing is developed slowly and gradually through intentional efforts. A stable presence of shared purpose/vision among individuals indicates trustable external links or collective networking of an individual. There is significant correlation between internal and external aspects of self. Developing trustworthiness on internal anatomy of self is critical in creating trustworthiness at external level. Trust deficit indicates a situation of conflict at internal level or absence of shared vision at external level. The internal trust deficit means physical weakness, whimsical mindset, and absence of serenity. It is noteworthy that the stability on external linkages is dominantly outcome of internal stability. For example, a doubt-driven person internally would have skeptical or fragile links with related people.

Collective life is sum total of individual and group life patterns. Individual life-pattern is a combination of independent and interactive life activities. The independent activities shape isolated/private life-pattern. On the other hand, the interactive activities shape collective/public life-pattern. At interactive level, we are linked with each other either socially or economically or politically and make groups. Conceptually, the interactive links get strength from common purpose or vision, while practically the interactive links get strength from costs-benefits of an interaction. The reliability of human life patterns is based on some values such as integrity, cooperation, and sacrifice. A common vision or costs-benefits approach inevitably follows some values, so that, the collective links are fortified on account of interactive values. For example, a social link is trustable on account of social commitments of concerned persons; an economic link is reliable on account of fair dealings among economic agents, and finally a political link is credible on account of flexibility level of political class towards conflicting political pressures/opportunities. Trust deficit indicates a situation of doubt or reluctance among individuals/groups or between individual and group. The uncertainty or mistrust in group life means the absence of some commonly accepted rules or standards or values.

There are some general rules for trust building. These are:

  • Self-trust or internal trust is initial point of any trust building effort,
  • Trust is not a mean to achieve a target, trustworthiness is an inevitable feature of a person or group,
  • Trust building is based on proactive engagement and value-based interactions,
  • Trust is built steadily, gradually, and painfully but it may shatter in a moment due to delicate significance of values.


About Muhammad Ilyas Khan

I am an economist and running a management consultancy/software house for SMEs / Entrepreneurs in Lahore. My specialties are micro-economics, industrial economics, managerial economics and entrepreneurial economics. I provide strategic consulting to top management and management training to knowledge workers. I have worked in Applied Economics Research Center (AERC), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), National Management Consultants (NMC), All Pakistan Textiles Mills Association (APTMA) and Silverline School System (SSS). I have proved sound business judgments, strategic business planning and effective executions with highest level of responsibility in various business/educational setups.

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