Trust Is Earned During Challenging Times

Can we “open up” from COVID without trust? Can we conduct business operations without trust? Can we hire without trust? Can we spend our money without trust? Trust is not all or nothing, there are degrees of trust. Each of us has a trust threshold that must be reached for a decision to be made. Trust in relationships has another key element, experience. We tend to trust our experiences.

If I have no experience with another, on what basis do I make my decision to trust them? For a business, considering a new relationship with a supplier or customer, there are ways to gain experiential data on the prospective partner: references from other clients or manufacturing partners and engaging with employees of the future partner to develop bonding and trust. It is also important to evaluate the process the business has used to engage your company. Have they been forthright, transparent, diligent, and most importantly, have they listened to you and responded to your needs?   

When evaluating a trusted security partner, a business should consider how that partner will perform when things go wrong; as they invariably do from time to time. Is there a stress test that a prospective partner can be put through before engaging them? Not easily. But when speaking with current clients of the partner, do not forget to ask how they performed when things have gone wrong. No company is perfect all the time. No system works flawlessly always. Trust is granted when things are smooth. Trust is earned during challenging times.

We would love to hear from you. Send us your comments and stories on how you maintain trust-based business relationships at

John Maffey, CPP, PSP