The clock started to tick in my mind. How do I end this in the least painful way? That was the only question occupying my mind. Things were going well initially in the relationship but a series of events revealed that all was not as it seemed on the surface. In time, I realized there was a chasm that I could not cross, lest I fall into the abyss of regret. My intuition began to alert me some time ago and memory followed, connecting the dots in the process. I was alerted to trust deficits on several fronts. It was time to inform the person before me of my decision to either modify or sever the relationship. We agreed to modify things but I never heard from him again.
The truth is this; we all want to trust people. We want to trust the new client, romantic interest, biz partner, employer or other people who enter our lives. There is always room for healthy skepticism that allows people an opportunity to earn trust while we give them time to prove themselves worthy. This is not just true of individuals; it’s also true of organizations. Businesses, faith-based communities, educational centers and civil authorities all have to shore up trust deficits. Speaking of civil authority, this was highlighted recently in the outcome of a nationally televised trial.
The Trayvon Martin verdict launched us into this debate. I’ve talked to people on both ends of the spectrum, disagreeing with good friends, on both ends of the spectrum on some of their points. My opinion may be different than yours, but one thing we can agree on is this: trust deficits between Blacks and the criminal justice system run deep. I watched most of the trial and concluded with this observation: a man was losing a fight—badly—with a teenager and used lethal force to resolve his dilemma. There should have been consequences for that. But move on we must and hopefully some good can come from this tragedy so people of goodwill can come together.
Trust deficits will remain magnified far into the foreseeable future, perhaps like no other time in human history; the actions of individuals and organizations are on display. Transgressions are hard to shake once publicized. People are often creatures of habit and those patterns emerge in the relationships they form over the years. People who build healthy relationships based on the 4Cs formula: character, competence, critical thinking = credibility, will thrive in the current setting. Others will be exposed and simply fall out of favor. Trust deficits create poor or terminal relationships, while trustworthiness or credibility creates endless opportunities. I’m working hard to gain and increase my trust account. Won’t you join me?
Hakim Hazim is the founder of Relevant Now Consultancy and L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST Intervention Specialist. Hakim has been immersed in research for at risk populations since 1993. His successful results confirmed first-hand that: “The price of incarceration in terms of expense for housing offenders is too much for society to consistently pay, and the future grows darker. Bluntly put, we can’t sustain the cost in lives or resources. It is my fervent belief that a productive tax-paying citizen is a far better option. Given the right tools, young people can change and lead positive lives.” As a certified Crisis Prevention Institute Senior Trainer and Behavior Intervention Specialist he specializes in the following various areas of security: counterterrorism, radical religious sects, gangs, juvenile delinquency and law enforcement approaches for mentally ill or challenged individuals. Hakim is also the creator of the 4Cs of Leadership trainings and MC2U: “Mentoring Challenge to You” initiative.