What Makes Trust So Important?

It is all about trust. In business, friendships, family, and all kinds of relationships. If people trust you, they’ll do business with you. Depending upon culture, it may take years to build that trust. And, trust can be ruined in a matter of seconds.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you´ll do things differently. Warren Buffett 

Wise words to live by.

According to American psychologist Abraham Maslow´s hierarchy of needs (1943), human beings all have five common basic needs in life:

  1. Safety and or survival
  2. Food and other basic physiological needs
  3. (Social) belonging and love
  4. Respect and purposefulness (esteem)
  5. Freedom and self-actualization

In building trust with other human beings, we must have trust in ourselves. A lack of trust in self, in other words fear-based actions and self-doubt, can be disastrous for both our own lives and for our interaction with other human beings. To succeed in business and life, we have to understand the basics of human behavior and the basics of human needs, and most preferably some psychology. Why?

According to Harvard Business Review: The 3 Elements of Trust, employees expect leaders to create and to maintain trust through positive relationships, using good judgment/expertise and consistency. Which one of these do you think is most important?

The most single important factor in terms of building and maintaining trust in any relationship is respect. Every human being deserves to be treated with respect, regardless of any external or internal attributes. Showing respect to people goes a long way. On the other hand, a lack of respect quickly leads to mistrust and a complete destruction of the relationship since the lack of respect usually leads to manipulative communication and negotiation tactics and breaking other people´s boundaries.

Never violate boundaries unless you are willing to risk the entire relationship. Never use manipulative tactics when negotiating with people. An experienced negotiator who is knowledgeable about human nature will quickly see through these kinds of tactics, and leading conversations or any kinds of interactions in such a manner will not only endanger your whole negotiation but also complicate the future of the interaction and/or relationship. To build and to maintain trust, it is hence essential to learn how to respect your counterpart. Learn how to listen, and learn how to become a naturally powerful communicator.

In “The Power of a Positive No” (2007), one of the world´s leading experts on negotiation and mediation William Ury gives his readers concrete tools for not only becoming better communicators but in fact also for learning how to succeed in negotiations and how to manage conflicts in constructive rather than destructive ways. He explains the importance of a positive NO, and how anyone can learn how to say no without ruining whole relationships. Ury´s teachings also include situations where the only right thing to do is to withdraw from a negotiation, or to end a (business/personal) relationship.

After all, it all begins and ends with self-respect and knowing one´s boundaries. How can you expect to maintain healthy and productive relationships unless you know how to respect yourself and your boundaries? It is far healthier to say NO in a direct or constructive way than to violate your personal values through people-pleasing or other kinds of fear-based activities/reactions. Healthy and strong people cannot easily be manipulated. They know their worth. They know how to say NO. Sometimes, in very powerful ways.

When you know your value(s) and what you want to achieve (goals), accomplishing these through determination and preparedness is so much easier. Despite of any circumstances, make sure not to victimize yourself or fall into pity ploy. Get rid of any unhealthy habits and ways of communication. This may sometimes be easier said than done. After all, we are all human, and we all make mistakes. When you learn from past experiences and focus upon being present in the now, and in various kinds of human interactions you can develop and improve both your general communication skills as well as your abilities as a negotiator or even mediator. These skills are always in high demand, regardless of profession or life situation.

In order to build and maintain trust, be trustworthy. Be consistent. Listen. Listen. Listen.

Anne-Maria Yritys 6.2.2019



What Changes Does Peacekeeping Need?

Peace is not absence of conflict, but the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means (Ronald Reagan)

In our world, conflict is present everywhere, be it in conflicting situations with friends, coworkers, neighbors, family members, in competition in general, in international relations, between various groups in a specific area, or between states. Mankind has, according to historical events and teachings, always been involved in a number of conflicts either locally or internationally. Nevertheless, most of humanity lives in peace, and peaceful living has never been as widespread as it is today. Despite of the fact that some conflicts remain anonymous, unresolved, complicated, and out-of-reach for international peacekeeping organizations to resolve.

Violence is the first refuge of the incompetent. (Issac Asimov)

Discussing and negotiating peace is always a better, and an easier choice, than having a fear of new conflicts, or even of having the thought of old conflicts remaining unsolved. All conflict we experience in the world, is a conflict within ourselves. It is also essential to realize that all conflicts emerge from the ego´s willingness to rule, an inability to deal with either personal or external behaviors in a mature way, competition, and lack of willingness to accept, and to understand the point of view of others.

According to Finnish long-term politician Pekka Haavisto, who represents the Green League, and has also represented the UN in a number of roles, the role of women in peacekeeping worldwide is currently underrepresented, suggesting that in fact, women should have increasingly much significance and a larger role to play not only in shaping world economy, but also in shaping current and future societies through a number of, and various, peacekeeping activities. Pekka Haavisto, a progressive, both nationally and internationally recognized politician from one of the least corrupted countries in the world, is not the only remarkable individual from Finland in terms of conflict resolution and peacekeeping, yet, he is the only politician so far in our country who has spoken up about the importance of women in peacekeeping.

Martti Ahtisaari, who served as the 10th President of Finland (1994-2000), is perhaps even better known internationally for his Nobel Peace Prize laureate and for his international peace work together with his work for the United Nations as a diplomat and a mediator. Martti Ahtisaari, after having served for the UN as a Special Envoy for Kosovo during the conflict, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his many efforts on several continents during many decades in international conflict resolution, and established CMI (Crisis Management Initiative), a Peace Broker organization with the purpose of creating peace, negotiating in conflict situations and thus, making the world a better, and a safer place.

Anger is only one letter short of danger (Eleanor Roosevelt)

The purpose of this post is not to resolve every conflict in this world, but rather to tap into a topic that definitely is always actual to every conscious human being. Despite of the fact that 11.11. is a magic day according to some, peace and conflict management are always actual and relevant topics that ought to be discussed more openly and widely by the public, and by people in general. Holding on to negative emotions, including fear, is never the correct choice for anyone, yet, negative emotions should never lead to disruptive or uncontrolled behavior.

What are your thoughts about conflict management, conflict resolution, and peacekeeping activities in general? What kinds of behaviors, and actions, would lead to an even more peaceful environment, and world? What is the role, and importance, of integrating women into peacekeeping activities in the world? What kinds of changes does peacekeeping require to become even more efficient than it today is?

Women & Peacekeeping: A growing force (the UN):

Please share your thoughts and ideas, especially if you agree with the fact that our world needs to become even more peaceful, and free of conflicts, than it is today. Thank you for all your comments, likes, and shares.