Intent is Key to Trust

Trust is a constant theme throughout all the leadership and management books I have read recently. Henry Cloud (Boundaries for Leaders) talks about the need to understand what we mean by trust, the nature, elements and components that make up trust.  One of the key components he refers to is that of 'intent'.

What does he mean by 'intent'?  To truly trust someone we need to know that they are for us and their intent is to help us.  We need to know they are looking out for us (as well as for themselves) and thinking about how things will affect the team.  Cloud suggests that being for the 'whole' and for the 'other' as well as for yourself builds trust.

I can recall several colleagues that I have worked with in the past.  People I would describe as completely honest and reliable in their dealings, yet deep down I didn't fully trust them.  On reflection I believe the issue was that their own agenda was above that of the team, the individual above the whole.  They didn't have my back covered. It's not easy to identify exactly how this looks, but it comes through in subtle actions and attitudes.

I had never considered how intent builds into trust, but I can now see that it as an important component.  Jesus words to "love your neighbor as yourself" could also be paraphrased as "love your colleagues as yourself" or to "love your team as yourself".

Question to Ponder: How 'for' the team am I?  How would others describe my 'intent'?