Kofman on Trust

If you are not deceived occasionally, then you are not extending enough trust.  Unless you experience the occasional deception, you are not optimising your relationship building process.

You are losing valuable opportunities to connect with people who might enrich your career… and your life.  You don’t know in advance who will honor your trust and who will not – so when you extend trust, you are gambling on probabilities and you will make mistakes.

There are two types of mistakes you can make.  Type 1 is to trust somebody who will deceive you – a “false positive.”  Type 2 is to not trust somebody who will not deceive you – a “false negative.”  But you can only reduce the probability of Type 1 mistakes by increasing the probability of Type 2 mistakes, and vice versa!

You can reduce the probability of trusting the “wrong” person by tightening your standards – and excluding a “wrong” person from your circle of trust is a benefit.  But tightening your standards means a higher probability of rejecting a “right” person; and excluding a “right” person from your circle of trust is a cost.

There are no hard and fast rules – you just have to strike a balance with which you are comfortable – no easy matter!