In my last post on Pendulum and business we looked at how people don’t want you to tell them what you believe. They want you to show them. Here we look at the importance of belief in others. In others’ belief in you.
Trust cannot be demanded. It has to be earned.
Let me give you a scenario. You’re going for a walk in the park and you have your young child with you. A tall man walking a dog the size of a small horse approaches you and your child. Both you and your child instinctively back up a bit, intimidated by the presence of this stranger and his giant dog.
The man seems cheerful enough and begins chatting up a storm with you about how friendly his dog is. “My dog simply adores kids! He’d never harm a fly and has never bitten anyone. Does your kid want to pet him? I promise he doesn’t bite. Did I mention my dog never bites?”
The man seems to genuinely believe his dog (one that’s seemingly big enough to swallow your child whole) wouldn’t bite. He’s making a pretty convincing case. The dog has been to obedience school, he even won the neighborhood friendliest dog award. Do you trust the safety of your child to the assurances of a stranger?
What would it take for you to trust this dog? Personally, I would run a full-blown background check on this oversized canine.
I would need to spend time observing the dog. How does he react in different situations? I’d ask neighbors for their opinion of the dog. I’d research the dog’s owner—how does he treat the dog? I’d check with the local animal-protection agency to see if the dog had any kind of record of aggressive behavior. I’d also research the breed of dog and what kind of temperament that breed has been shown to have historically.
That dog would have to earn my trust. And at the first sign of a growl or curled lip toward my child, I’d never trust that dog again.
You see, trust is like glass. Once it’s broken, it will never be the same.
We will continue to explore this in our next post.[rps]