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Welcome to the home of the Modern Farm Business® podcast, hosted weekly by Dean Heffta. Modern Farm Business translates proven methods and best practices from the business arena to today's modern farm leadership environment. We'll be learning from forward-thinking experts and discovering how to apply time-tested techniques to make real improvements on the farm.

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Feb 1, 2018

In business, as in life, one of the most important aspects of a relationship is trust. When trust is high things move faster, energy is higher and people have more fun. When
trust is low everything slows down. We second-guess decisions and question motives, etc. Speed goes down and expense goes up. We know trust is important, but too often
we consider it a binary system: "I either trust someone or I don’t." Trust is actually more dynamic than that.

One of the most important things to be aware of in a relationship is why there might be a trust issue. That’s easier to examine if you break trust down into its components.
Today we’re going to talk about four elements of trust, any of which—or any combination of which—could contribute to feelings of mistrust.

1. Competency: Understanding the abilities, knowledge and experience of the other person. Competency-based trust is situational. A person may be completely trustworthy
in one situation (changing the oil in a tractor) but not a person you’d trust in another situation to get the job done well (writing payroll checks). The leader also
needs to know enough about the area they’re asking this person to perform in, to be able to gauge whether the person has the competency required for the job.

2. Character: If you know someone regularly takes shortcuts or has been dishonest in the past, you begin questioning their character—despite how much competency
they might display. Character qualities are embedded in a person and are demonstrated by consistency of behavior and motives that carry over into a person’s actions.
A caveat: It can be too easy to incorrectly assign character. When we see a behavior, we interpret that behavior through the motives we could imagine ourselves having
for performing that action—when in reality, we are all very different people from each other. Everyone’s actions will likely be motivated from very different places. Seek to
understand before jumping to judgment.

3. Communication: Most people don’t even see this, but it is actually the most likely culprit for causing mistrust in relationships. Establishing shared expectations at the
outset can help alleviate some communication problems before they even crop up. Poorly establish expectations can quickly spill over into all kinds of trust issues—and we
don’t even see communication as the issue. People assume and fi ll-in the blanks on their own instead of asking the right questions and establishing clear expectations.

4. Capacity: How able or willing are we to trust others? Some people just don’t place trust in others until they’ve proven themselves trustworthy. Reluctance like this can
lead to missed opportunities, fewer strong relationships and a more stressful life. Conversely, some people trust everyone they meet immediately. Naïve trust like this
can burn you easily, leaving you eventually bitter and victimized—too many people have been given your trust without the competency or character to back it up. Capacity
requires a smart approach—balance people‘s motives, abilities, and expectations of each other. Know how to balance advocating our own needs without sacrifi cing our
relationships with others

We always welcome your feedback at Modern Farm Business Podcast. Do you have suggestions for future episodes, or questions on something we’ve already covered? Drop Dean a line at He’ll look at each email personally and respond as quickly as possible. Thanks for listening!