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The Root Behavioral Dimensions of Trust

Trust is defined as the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; one in which confidence is placed.  Simply stated, trust can be regarded as an expectancy that a person or a thing can be relied upon.

Many psychologists believe that certain people have a higher ability to trust than others.  On the flip side of this equation is the belief that yet other people have a lesser ingrained ability to trust; thought to be a function of the level that trust has been honored in that individual’s culture, family unit, or previous social interactions.

Trust is often observed in three primary behavioral areas:

Three Primary Behaviors of Trust…


This refers to the ability of another person through their level of knowledge, skills, and/or competency.  The trust in a person to perform to a certain degree is hard to establish without a basic level of ability.

2.  Integrity:

This is measured by the degree to which there is a consistency of past actions, commitment to standards of fairness, and the congruence of one’s words and deeds.

3.  Benevolence:

This is an inherent predisposition that involves being concerned with the welfare of others as well as the desire to “want to perform right actions”.  When a person’s motives are free from selfish desires, trust has a more solid foundation.

Trust is a vital part of working relationships. Later this week we will look at ways to build trust as well as ways to repair trust that has been diminished or lost.

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Judy W Bell

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