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Testing Trust

Blind trust is not trust.

Trust requires selective tests, if it is not to wither into naiveté or hope. Therefore, in organisations, as in teams, relationships are repeatedly tested to see if trust is appropriate. The main test for trust consists in surreptitiously creating opportunities for the abuse of trust to occur. If you create a situation in which your young daughter could stay away longer than agreed, because you, yourself, will be away for a long time, and she, nevertheless arrives home on time, and you know this, because the neighbour has told you, then your trust will grow.

Such consciously created situations are just as significant for the limitation of risk as is control of risk. Those who test trust, check the trustworthiness, those who control trust, check the results of the time frame in which trust was given. If you control so strongly that there is no chance to abuse the trust, you will, at some point, not know anymore, if your opponent is genuinely trustworthy, or merely trustworthy because of a lack of opportunity. Therefore both are required: tests and control of trust.