What’s the difference between trust and faith?

Trust requires relationship.

Many organizations espouse the value of trust. But underlying this expectation of trust, what many leaders actually desire is for their followers to have faith.

Faith does not require relationship. You can put your faith on tangibles like credentials, experience, and references. Upon entering into a relationship there is an act of faith that the other is trustworthy based on their reputation. This act of faith in another’s trustworthiness can develop into real trust over time. Trust demands that a leader’s actions are consistent with his words. Trust demands that a leader acknowledges her mistakes and gives credit where credit is due.

A leader that demands trust from subordinates doesn’t really have an understanding of what trust is. Rather than trust, what this leader actually wants is for their team to continue to have faith. To have faith in their good intentions and to overlook the reality of the way they are showing up.

A leader that mixes up trust with faith is unable to acknowledge mistakes and unable to give away credit. For the very act of acknowledging a mistake may tarnish their reputation and erode others’ ability to trust have faith in them. To this leader, giving away credit only serves to bolster a team members’ trustworthiness and does nothing to advance their own.

Value Relationships

Organizations can enhance trust by removing it from their list of values and instead place the value on relationships. This is a sign of a more mature organization, one that understands that trust is an outcome of living out your values. If this blog post is hitting a chord with you and you are ready to place increased value on your relationships and you are motivated to enhance the requisite skill, Let’s Chat.

Trust me, I can’t help you. But I know a way of thinking that can.