Why should we care about trust?

Trust is central to human existence as we know it. Why? Because without trust, the collective ability to resolve group problems would not be possible and, therefore, societies as they exist today would be unachievable. The important role that trust plays in society development is largely due to its adaptive nature and function. Trust enables us to believe in, and accept, some things at face value, therefore, reducing uncertainty and allowing us to make decisions and act based on these acceptances.

Trust is also important because of its huge bio economic value. In other words, in the “natural economy” of cost-benefits, as a rule, we obtain more benefits through trust than distrust. Simply put, it is cheaper to trust than distrust.

In addition, although it may appear in a variety of forms, trust forms at least part of the base for all interaction processes and transactions that come from groups, organisations, companies, institutions, society, or even relationships between two people. In fact, trust is a good example of a “cultural universal,” something that is both multidimensional and fundamental across all societies. Without trust, all human organisations and relationships would end up collapsing.

The financial system is one example where we can see how trust is what allows symbolic guarantees to function. Think about it: money is not only a means of exchange but also a “guarantee” where everyone who is using the entire financial system assumes that others will also respect, trust, or believe in the value of the system. Without trust, this system would have no base to develop upon, and would end up failing.

Therefore, trust is undoubtedly one of the greatest assets when it comes to facilitating group cooperation and has accompanied humans throughout history. It impacts simple habits, routines, processes, and roles that increase our predictability and reduce uncertainty. It also allows us to liberate and focus our attention and energy in more complex areas of our lives. This means we can consider trust to be extensive as its impacts have a broad reach and are associated with new forms of global connection. Additionally, we can see trust as intensive because it produces change in the behaviours and personal characteristics of everyday life.

Hence, we can understand that the trust problem is multidimensional, as well as an economic asset. One example is the enormous value trust brings to companies, institutions, and other organisations. Research shows that, compared to organisations with low-trust environments, people in high-trust environments report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% less absenteeism due to illness, 76% more involvement with the organisation, and 29% more satisfaction with life (P. Zak, 2010).

Don't you think that this trust issue is something that worth thinking about?

If you want to learn more about this subject I'll be in Helsinki on February, 4th and 5th 2020 to give a course on the trust factor

Contact www.hofstede-insights.com

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