Trust bucket

I’ve been thinking about why we trust certain people but keep others at arms length. This was inspired by seeing how a colleague navigates their interactions with meeting new people in the company.

For people (other) in our work and personal life who we don’t feel an increase in trust – Our intuition tells us that the other might not be someone we can easily talk with. The other might not be on the same wave length as us. The other is not sharing anything personal nor vulnerable with us. We often make a judgement in the first few minutes after meeting the person. And so it goes. We make our judgement, unless the evidence turns drastically in a short period of time, the lack of trust remains and the level of distance defines the relationship.

Why do we seek advice from a few people, but not others? We have to feel this sense of trust – that when we open up a small sliver of vulnerability, the other will not store it as ammunition to be used to future gains. We have to see that the other is listening before making judgements. We make micro-judgements during face to face conversations to decide whether we will make continued investments in our trust bucket.

Tony Tam (Li Zhi)

Senior Principal Engineer @ Splunk, ImpactfulEngineer.org & SFBadminton.org