Want More Trust in the World? Trust More, Not Less!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com

Want More Trust in the World?  Trust More, Not Less!

I am trusting and trustworthy.  I keep my commitments.  I am honest and forthright.  I do my best not to lie.  I treat people with respect and dignity.  I probably could have just pasted the Boy Scout Oath right here (which is worth reviewing periodically – click the link!).  What’s more, living in a civilized, well-educated society, I have a reasonable expectation that my fellow citizens will keep a similar covenant with me and likewise, hold me accountable to my covenant with them.  The really cool thing is, this ideology works (for me) almost all the time!

It would be easy to write a post about how dastardly deeds diminish trust.  Life is flush with examples of how trust is betrayed, co-opted, manipulated, and transformed into skepticism, cynicism and wariness.  Just about every reality show on TV has themes of trust/distrust woven into the fabric of the competition or saga du jourTrust

Here’s the rub:  Contrary to what we see each day on TV, I don’t believe trusting less will give me an edge over my peers and help me achieve my goals.  Conversely, I fervently believe that trusting more ultimately leads to greater wealth, better health, and a sense of well-being that is priceless.

Trust is in our DNA.  We are wired for it right down to our double-helix.  Why?  Because, we are born completely defenseless and require rearing by parents or guardians far longer than any other species on earth; we have to trust in order to survive. Sadly, it is life (once we begin to fend for ourselves) that teaches us not to trust.  So how do we get our trust back?  How can we ensure that our efforts to trust more won’t be met with heartbreak and disappointment?

A couple of months ago I watched a compelling video about trust and trustworthiness.  It was a TED talk given by Paul Zak, Ph.D, a neuro-economist at the University of Pennsylvania.  Here’s the link for you to follow:  http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_zak_trust_morality_and_oxytocin.html.  It is worth every second of the 15 minute presentation.

Prior to watching this, my thoughts about trust were probably much like yours.  At face value, Trust is something that must be earned, can be easily betrayed and betrayal leaves deep scars.  But when I really started digging in – I realized that I operate on a trust-first basis and this has brought me a wealth of great relationships with people from all walks of life. 

Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve watched the video, I don’t go around and hug everyone I see but I do my best to make a physical connection with people I interact with.  In person, you’ll find that I’m a shoulder-pat guy.  I wasn’t even aware of it until someone pointed it out to me.  It isn’t invasive, effusive or creepy.  I just like that level of connectedness with people and it makes all the difference.  People know I like them and trust them because they can feel it when I pat their shoulder and shake their hand (or give them a hug).

As I mentioned above, trust is a covenant.  It is the often unspoken yet deeply felt acknowledgment that one’s word is one’s bond.  It is knowing that you will do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do, rather than what is expedient or politically favorable.  It is an unwavering belief that what you say and how you act is congruent with who you are at your core.  And when we go out into the world and present this aspect of ourselves openly and generously, the law of psychological reciprocity will kick in, helping build trust throughout our community, our country, and the world.

This post is a submission to the ActiveRain / Adobe EchoSign Trust Contest. I could possibly win a prize. You can find out about the contest by clicking here


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Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Chris - congratulations on a great entry and being in the final round of this fun contest!  It IS a decision to trust someone and it is also a decision to be the sort of person that opens the doors to others to trust you.  Good luck!

Feb 16, 2012 04:54 AM #21
Shannon Coe
Keller Williams - Rocklin, CA
916-597-3818, Lincoln, Rocklin, Loomis, Roseville

Very nice Chris, you have a trusting smile! Good Luck on being a finalist.

Feb 16, 2012 06:38 AM #22
Mike Sibbald
Elevations Real Estate, LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Broker/Owner Elevations Real Estate, LLC

Chris, you have described yourself as I know you.  Thanks, Mike.

Feb 16, 2012 07:27 AM #23
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

Barb, Shannon, Mike-  thanks for reading the post and your kind words.  It means a lot.

Feb 16, 2012 09:00 AM #24
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Chris - I liked this post a lot better when I read it the first time and we weren't competing for an iPad2. Seriously, it's a great piece of writing - congratulations and best of luck!

Feb 16, 2012 10:44 AM #25
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

Right back atcha, Dick!  This has been a blast!!

Feb 16, 2012 10:51 AM #26
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

WHen we treat people the way we want to be treated, trust is a natural extension of our actions. I love TED!


Feb 16, 2012 01:04 PM #27
Valerie Baker
Exit Real Estate Professionals - Spokane, WA
Spokane Realtor

You sound like a warm person . . .hard not to trust someone who is patting your shoulder or, better yet, giving you a hug! Good luck!

Feb 16, 2012 01:39 PM #28
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


You have my vote.  What a profound and inspiring post about trust.  You are right we start out trusting everyone and slowly withdraw that trust. 

Feb 16, 2012 02:57 PM #29
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

Sharon, Valerie -  Thank you so much for the comments and reading the post!

Evelyn- thanks for the vote!  I'm truly honored!


Feb 16, 2012 10:40 PM #30
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Chris - great post!  If you're the shoulder pat guy, then I'm the arm pat girl!  I totally understand.  Best of luck in your quest for the contest!

Feb 17, 2012 07:12 AM #31
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON


You nailed it so well when you said 'trust is a covenant'. How true.  Best of luck in the contest!


Feb 17, 2012 10:29 AM #32
Peter Michelbach
International, IT
i Sell Real Estate

Chris, well spoken....Local... Universal... Intergalactical ...Let's do it now! Best of  luck!

Feb 17, 2012 08:07 PM #33
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Well doen with the post. Good Luck with the contest

Feb 18, 2012 09:13 PM #34
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Chris, I'm with you in wanting and inviting trust into our lives.  And you are so right in that it's in our DNA - no getting around it! Good luck and Congrats on making it to the finals in this contest.  Thanks for the TED link ~ am off to listen to it now.

Feb 18, 2012 09:18 PM #35
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Chris, The judges made a wise choice when they selected this for the final 10. I choose to trust first too. It works most of the time and let's us get to a good working relationship faster.

Feb 19, 2012 10:50 PM #36
Nor Yeretsian
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc. - Toronto, ON
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto

Nicely presented, Chris. Without trust we have nothing.

Good luck as one of the finalist, I know how I am voting.




Feb 20, 2012 12:12 AM #37
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV
CDPE, SFR carsonvalleyland.com

Great Job Chris ... best wishes ... I'm reviewing and it's been a very inspirational evening!

Feb 22, 2012 09:43 AM #38
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

Jan, Jo, Peter, Ed, Pamela, Connie, Nor, and Lisa-  Thanks so much for your comments and your votes of congratulations!  I'm really honored for this post to have made the finals.  It was a great exercise - really made me think about who I am and how I engage with the world.  Nice to know its made an impact! 

Feb 22, 2012 11:55 AM #39
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

Chris, now wouldn't it be lovely if more people adapted your attitude of more trust and trust first!  Congrats on making the top 10.

Feb 29, 2012 03:49 AM #40
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Chris Hardy

Northern Colorado Real Estate
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