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Article 2 of 7: Reason Two – Develops Trust

This is the second article in a series of seven reasons why science validates you ought to focus on Applied Positive Intentions to help you live an even more meaningful, flourishing and prosperous professional and personal life. In this article we focus on how applied positive intentions develop trust.

If you missed the first article, you can read it here.

Just to remind you, an intention is one thing, but taking action to fulfill or live up to your positive intention to make life better for others in your professional and personal life, is what creates the more powerful Applied Positive Intention.

Here are the 7 evidence-based reasons why you ought to understand and act on Applied Positive Intentions:

  1. Increases Self-Determination
  2. Develops Trust
  3. Enhances Meaning and Purpose
  4. Builds Positivity
  5. Increases Goal Achievement
  6. Encourages Curiosity and Learning
  7. Develops Clarity, Agility and Resilience

In the first article in this series we examined how Applied Positive Intentions increase self-determination. In this article we explore how Applied Positive Intentions build trust.

Builds Trust

There are three lenses through which you can think about trust in your professional and personal life.

The Lens of Self-Trust:

Most people would readily say they trust themselves. However, when pressed, most are also willing to admit that at times they have let themselves down.

The confidence required for us to have self-trust is increased when we are clear about what we want (and believe we deserve) for ourselves. How would you rate your level of self-trust on a scale of 1 being low and 10 being high?

To increase your own confidence required for self-trust, set an Applied Positive Intention for yourself. Clearly define what you want to have, feel, know, experience in your life. Then, take action in ways that help you live up to your intention for yourself. Don’t forget to reward yourself on your actions (not just the results you achieve).

The Lens of Trust Others:

Whenever we place our trust in others, we take a risk and this requires courage.

To increase your courage required to trust others in your professional and personal life, you need to be clear about what you want FOR other people when you place your trust in them, and not just focus on what you want from them.

Applying the Lens of Trust Others in this way, flips the focus from a take angle, to a give angle.

Researcher Professor Adam Grant outlines how science validates the power of this type of approach (being a giver, rather than a taker or a matcher) increases collaboration, relationship trust and overall mutual success.

The Lens of Earn Others’ Trust:

The third lens of trust is to focus on developing our combined character and competence to earn others’ trust.

By setting Applied Positive Intentions, what we want FOR others and not what we want from them, we are again applying the ‘giver’ approach that Grant’s research validates helps us to feel better about ourselves (builds our pride in our character and self-trust).

Paradoxically, by approaching relationships through this Lens of Earn Others’ Trust, we increase our personal positivity about who we are (self-trust).

This in turn, as shown by research by Professor Barbara Fredrickson ignites what she refers to as the Broaden and Build Theory of Positivity.

By focusing on what we want FOR others, rather than just what we want from them, helps us to broaden and build our capacity to live up to our applied positive intentions for others by inspiring us to enhance our competence and character.

Summarising the Three Lenses of Trust

When we break trust down into these three lenses of trust; the confidence for self-trust, the courage to trust others and the combined character and competence required to earn others’ trust, science validates the importance of Applied Positive Intentions.

The message is clear for every corporate leader.

Coach and guide your employees to write out positive intention statements for their customers and regularly report back on how they are living up to their positive customer intentions and you will boost the level of self-determination in your people as well as creating a more trusting and trustworthy work environment.

The third article in this series will cover how science validates Applied Positive Intentions help to enhance meaning and purpose in our lives.

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