Developing, Measuring, and Maintaining Trust in Networks and Partnerships.

Trust is essential to any partnership/Network development. Because partnerships/network are about relationships- Trust and respect is important if collaboration is to be successful and enjoyable.

Webster Dictionary defines trust as the “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something”

Trust is built on personal and often informal relations. It grows out of voluntary reciprocal exchanges, the most typical of which are communications of information. Trust is most readily established where there are shared values, particularly when such values provide the basis for a common vision. But trust can also emerge when there are different values, if those differences are acknowledged, addressed and effectively subordinated to a larger value.

Trust is best understood in terms of the ability to form expectations about aims and partner’ future behavior in relation to those aims.  A necessary condition for trust is thus that expectations can be formed on the one hand and fulfilled on the other. Thus creation of trust can be rooted either in an anticipation that something will be forthcoming or on common past satisfactory experiences.

How Trust can be built and sustained:

  • Have clarity of purpose and objectives
  •  Deal with power differences
  • have leadership but do not allow anyone to take over
  • allow time to build up understanding
  • share workload fairly
  • resolve different levels of commitment
  • have equal ownership   point scoring
  • Accept that partnerships evolve over time.
  • Aim for realistic and successful outcomes
  • Reinforce trusting attitudes
  • Gain underpinnings for more ambitious collaboration

Indian situation: Trust involves taking risks, and people are afraid to take risks.

Leaders do not trust other leaders:-

  • They are used to competing together and they are afraid that the other will overtake them
  • They have been hurt before and are reluctant to trust others again- once bitten twice shy
  • They want to be the “Main “ leader and are afraid of competition
  • They are afraid of being swamped by others
  • They are afraid of being misused and misquoted: Rumours spread fast in India which hampers trust building

How to deal with lack of trust:

  • Try to get the leaders with differences to meet together, discuss issues and pray together
  • See that confidentiality is strictly maintained
  • Help them to see that they are now working together but not in competition

Complex, cultural, language, denominational   distinctions

  • The society is hieratical and it is important that the leader must be taken into confidence-

Who knows whom- works in India- if a reference is obtained from a leading personality be it in Christian work or otherwise, people trust that product or person- example

Requirement of trust:

  • Transparent relationship between the partners
  • Openness and concern for one another
  • Building trust with partners overseas:
  • Individualistic Vs Community
  • Often mistrust is regarding finances
  • Communication