Trust is huge with me. It is the most important component of any relationship. Without it, you have nothing to build upon. If you approach me about service, I expect you to be a man of your word. Follow through with what you tell me. If I can’t trust what you’re saying to me then I don’t see how you’ll ever be able to please me. Just mean what you say or don’t say it at all. If you learn anything from me, of importance… learn that.
The Importance of Gaining Initial Trust
(excerpt from a BSU mentorship session)
Initial trust formation is important because it is pervasive. Almost every relationship begins with an initial phase. The initial phase can be characterized by uncertainty and doubt, in which both parties feel around for the right level of trust to accord the other.
Initial trust is also important because many critical transactions are done in the initial phase of getting to know one another. These include brief introductions (first contact online or at public venue), communication of expectations, sexual and domestic activities of various kinds , chance hookups and temporary tasks or jobs (assigned to you – which are almost always to be considered “tests”).
During this phase, both parties may extend or withdraw cooperation, and may do so willingly or unwillingly, with either confident and secure feelings or with tension, doubt and skepticism. In any case, the level of trust may impact their effectiveness, making it easy or difficult to accomplish the parties’ interdependent roles. Initial trust is therefore key to what the parties in the relationship can accomplish together.
Initial trust has further import because it excavates a cognitive/affective channel that often has lasting implications for the future mental model of the relationship.