In human resources, you’re taught that the best way to treat employees is to trust them. Allow them broad discretion, believe they’ll make good decisions, and show it to them by involving them when possible in the decision-making process.
Autonomy creates satisfaction and productivity. If you don’t believe me, just Google “autonomy and productivity”.
It’s like this with personal relationships as well. Trust the people in your life to make good decisions. Dale Carnegie’s terrific book How to Win Friends and Influence People alludes to this idea when he says that you should “Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to”.
You might be thinking, “Kyle, but I know people in my life can’t be trusted!”
Here’s the deal: if you know someone in your life can’t be trusted, note the exception. And leave it at that.
The fact is that, despite what you see in media outlets, most people generally try to do the right thing, and if they’re doing the wrong thing, they’re probably misguided.
Sincerely believe in people, and most likely, they’ll wow you.