Giving and Taking and the role of Trust

I am writing and talking a lot because, in the course of my career as a consultant, Founder and as an advisor to other professionals, I have made a lot of mistakes. Whatever wisdom this Newsletter a future book etc. contains has been learned the hard way.

Last weekend I remembered a conversation I had with a friend of mine. Alex the founder of Artificial Intelligence CyberSecurity Startup. We talked about the Most Important Issues Facing the World Today. After a while, one theme in particular emerged. Every idea we discussed had at its core the concept of trust - or, more pointedly, the erosion of trust. Trust in media is lost. Trust in politicians is lost. Trust in capitalism is lost. A majority do not trust the system anymore. The blockchain boom suggests we don’t trust the foundations of our financial system. Congress doesn’t trust Big Tech—and chances are, neither do you. Trust is the active ingredient in human civilization. Trust and its absence has shaped societies across generations. What will this crisis mean for the future? A lot, I think.

Perhaps the most important currency in a relationship—friendship, romantic, familial, or professional—is trust. This is certainly true if you work with me or anyone else. If someone didn’t trust you, you didn’t have a relationship with him. But if you trust someone, and vice versa, that trust was the basis for all other aspects of the relationship. Trust is, of course, important for any relationship, but in most business relationships it takes its place alongside other factors: personal agendas, mutual exchange of value.


What Is Trust In A Relationship?

Trust is the faith you have in someone that they will always remain loyal to you and love you. To trust someone means that you can rely on them and are comfortable confiding in them because you feel safe with them. It is the building block for any relationship without which the foundation will always remain shaky. No matter whether it is a relationship with a partner, friends or business.

Trust in a relationship is defined as a firm belief in someone and the utmost confidence in them. To believe that they are reliable and will never do something that will bring you pain. You feel emotionally and physically safe with them. Remember, trust is built, not something that can be forced.

Why Is Trust Important In A Relationship?

Trust is the foundation upon which your relationship can survive the hardest of times. In fact, without trust, you cannot sustain your relationship for a long time. Lack of trust is one of the reasons for relationships to fall apart.

Here is why trust is the driving factor in any relationships:

  • You cannot love without trusting a person.

  • Trust helps overcome obstacles.

  • Trust helps in healing.

  • It helps control your emotions.

  • It is reassuring.

  • It teaches you about personal time and space.

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Trusting yourself to begin

All of us have potential which is beyond even our wildest dreams, but most of this potential remains untapped. Funny that I was asked yesterday what actually potential means. I had to thought about it for a minute. Each person has the capacity to experience different planes of consciousness, yet most of us live in the lower planes, without experiencing higher levels of existence, or even believing that they exist. I was reading the books by Ken Wilbers and about his Integral theory, which explains this holistic few.

Many people are unhappy in the world, dissatisfied and yet not sure what is lacking in their lives. The basic reason for this unhappiness is our attachment to the material plane of existence. Once we gain a glimpse of higher spheres of consciousness, then our unhappiness and discontent automatically fade away. There are various systems of yoga, mindfulness training etc., which are widely propagated throughout the world. All are aiming at transcendental states where one starts to commune with one's inner being. Most of the systems emphasize the importance of concentration as a means of withdrawing consciousness from the outside surroundings and directing it into the innermost realms of the mind. It is the beginning of a journey to start trusting yourself and others again.

Trust in the Workplace

As I am working most of the time with organizations and StartUps. I figured out that Trust in the workplace is more important than ever before. If organizations are going to survive in the new global economy, their employees must trust themselves and their leaders enough to be willing to take the risks necessary to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions of the marketplace. But after two decades of downsizing, restructuring, and managerial changes, trust within Organisations has reached an all-time low. I can also recommend my article for the New Economy here.

I am a supporter of Adam Grant and had the pleasure to speak to him a few times via mail and skype. And happy that he recommend some students of him to talk to. One of his books is called Give and Take. If you are not familiar with hin. He is known as being the most popular full-time professor at the Wharton School. His popularity has gone far beyond educational institutions, as he managed to win accolades from Business Week and even Malcolm Gladwell.

Adam Grant believes that success, development, and financial well-being is usually divided into three factors – motivation, ability, and opportunity. But, he goes a step further and identifies a fourth component – the ability to interact with people.

Adam Grant classifies people into takers and givers.

The first category of people attempts to maximize profits in transactions, agreements, and other working points. They work exclusively for themselves. Takers are accustomed to working on themselves and they believe that taking care of themselves is the only way. The latter put others’ interests ahead of their own.

Depending on the situation, people can adopt different behaviors—they can take, give, or exchange. But usually, everyone has a dominant model that determines their behavior.

All three behaviors have their advantages and disadvantages. However, his experiences inform his belief that givers receive fewer benefits, as they are guided by the interests of others and forget about their own interests.

The ultimate recommendation is that giving is our best ‘default’ setting—we should extend kindness and generosity to most people most of the time. Giving promotes happiness and promotes win-win outcomes. If you remember, I also did a video (german) about this topic —> Watch Now

But when you sense you are being exploited by a born ‘taker,’ it’s time to stop being a pushover. It’s time to play what Adam Grant calls ‘generous tit-for-tat.’ That is, matching the competitiveness of the other person while remaining open to switching back to being generous at the first opportunity.

This gives you the best of both worlds—altruism-coupled with a dose of self-care as required.

At the moment, Adam Grant has more than 60 publications on various aspects of management and psychology and his work is regularly published in prominent journals around the world.

Thanks to his revolutionary research, Adam Grant has managed to seriously increase the efficiency of labor and reduce the burnout among engineers and sales professionals. He has also suggested techniques that significantly improve the efficiency of doctors and professional rescuers.

Are you a giver or a taker in your work life?

What I was reading/watching this week?

The ways of dog to Mann

How ASML became chipmaking’s biggest monopoly

Gaia Will Soon Belong to the Cyborgs

Why we need to be more emotional to save the world

Ep. 13 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Buddhism and Parasitic Processing

And some papers by a friend of mine about “How Philosophy Contributes to AI “ and some more books related to Impact Investing, Awareness, and Leadership

And please, I’d love to read your thoughts on all of these and the last newsletter :-)

Happy Day!

Best wishes,
Malte 🤩