The Trust Signals Podcast: The Grow with TRUST System
The audiobook version of Trust Signals is now available as an 18-episode podcast. The eleventh...
In the age of fake news and fast content, it’s now more important than ever to be able to establish a sense of trust in the world around you. The information you receive and repeat is a big starting point of course, but there are also so many individual interactions throughout our daily lives that ask us to establish trust in loved ones, colleagues, and even complete strangers.
Whether it’s trusting in your spouse or significant other to get that important task done for you, your doctor to run and interpret that test correctly, or even the driver of the Uber you just jumped into to get you safely from point A to point B, our day-to-day is one big web of commitments and exchanges of trust.
So what are some of the different ways we think about and conceive of trust? Since brand trust has become the primary driver for business growth, here at Trust Signals we work hard to help businesses build the kind of trust that forms the bedrock of good decision-making and fruitful relationships. With that being said, we thought it was important to categorize the synonyms of trust, related words for trust, and the different ways they tie together under the core concept of trust.
The first trust synonym we'll discuss today is confidence.
Confidence is one of the closest synonyms for trust. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary defines confidence as “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.”
Confidence, and particularly consumer confidence, has never been more volatile. All it takes these days is an outspoken billionaire and a bird-themed social media platform to make markets spiral and all hell break loose. Particularly now with the rising tide of the young upstart that is a cryptocurrency and its notorious dependence on investors’ confidence, it’s more obvious than ever how important role confidence plays in the modern business world.
Well, they are two very closely related concepts. In order to trust someone or something, you need to have confidence in that person or thing. If you don’t have confidence, then you can’t trust. It’s as simple as that.
Taking a look at the definition of confidence, belief appears as one of its key elements ("the feeling or belief"). So, the next trust synonym we'll discuss is belief.
Belief can be defined as "An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without."
Belief is a powerful thing, but it doesn’t come from nowhere. Establishing a sense of belief in what you or your business does is never easy, but when done right it will hold you in good stead for a long time to come.
Trust is built on a foundation of belief. In order for someone to trust you, they need to believe in you first. Belief is the starting point from which trust can grow.
The twin of belief, faith, is what you are left with when you have established a truly high level of trust. Trying to define faith is a bit like nailing jelly to the wall, but for our purposes, we can think of it as "complete trust or confidence in someone or something."
The term ‘blind faith’ is sometimes thrown around in a derogatory sense, and yet faith is gold dust for any leader who needs others to trust in their vision and what they want to achieve. Thus, faith is one of the words related to trust.
Faith is the highest level of trust. It is trusting someone or something even when all logic and evidence point to the contrary. Faith is a leap of trust, and it’s what you need if you want others to put their trust in you.
Another word for trust is certainty. Certainty can be defined as "the state of being certain; freedom from doubt or hesitation."
Few things are guaranteed in life, and as Benjamin Franklin once stated ‘Nothing in this world can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.’ If you are able to walk the walk with your business and both communicate clearly and deliver on your promises however, then the chances are you will build a sense of certainty in your client base that you can be relied upon just as much as the IRS or the pale rider.
Certainty is knowing that you can trust someone or something. It’s the feeling of being absolutely certain that what you are trusting is good and will not let you down. Certainty is about being consistent and predictable, and it’s something that needs to be earned over time.
Assurance can be defined as: "a statement that something will certainly be true or will certainly happen, particularly when there has been doubt about it."
Number 5 on our trust synonym list has certainly been adopted by the business world, as anyone who has ever had to give an ‘assurance’ to a client or customer will attest. An assurance is a formal way of saying that you stand by what you are offering and that the person you are offering it to can trust in your words.
People want to know that they can rely on you, and that you will be there for them when they need you. Assurance is about giving people the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have their back, which in turn helps building trust.
It’s one thing to have principles, it’s another thing to act upon them. Having courage in your convictions can be one of the most challenging skills to develop in life, since we often find that trusting in ourselves can be the biggest battle.
Conviction is therefore our next synonym for trust, and can be defined as "a strong persuasion or belief."
Incidentally, the word ‘conviction’ can also be used as a trust synonym. This is because when you have conviction in something, you are effectively saying that you trust it implicitly. You believe in it so much that you are willing to stand by it no matter what.
Another word that is related to trust, is credence. Credence can be defined as "Belief in or acceptance of something as true."
Credence is the quality of holding credibility in the eyes of others. If you want people to see you as a legitimate option, you need to show them they have a reason to hold that level of trust in you.
Whilst ‘credence’ might not be a word that you hear every day, it is actually a very good trust synonym. This is because it describes the act of having credibility in the eyes of others, which is something that is essential if you want people to trust you.
When thinking about other words for trust, one that springs to mind is reliance. Reliance can be defined as "dependence on or trust in someone or something."
This synonym for trust can sometimes be a double-edged sword, and it’s easy to think of relying on something with negative connotations; as a fall-back, as a dependency, or an addiction. But as a synonym for trust, it’s obvious how reliance is the product of so many important factors. If people are relying on you, you’re clearly doing something right!
To rely upon something or someone is to show some of the greatest levels of trust imaginable. If someone relies on you and your business, it shows that you have completely filled the gap of whatever need or demand that they might have.
Another word for trust that is particularly relevant in a business context is responsibility. This is because when you are responsible for something, people are effectively trusting you to take care of it. If you are irresponsible, people will quickly lose faith in you and look elsewhere.
Responsibility can therefore be defined as "a duty to deal with or take care of somebody/something, so that you may be blamed if something goes wrong."
Whilst ‘responsibility’ might not be the first word that springs to mind when thinking of trust, it is actually a very good synonym. This is because being responsible is one of the key foundations of trust. If you are in a position of responsibility, then it means that a great deal of trust has been placed in you to be there. As such, by giving you that level of responsibility, clients are showing their trust in you.
Duty is very closely related to responsibility, and the two words can often be used interchangeably.
Duty can be defined as "something that you feel you have to do because it is your moral or legal responsibility."
As a society, we often have a sense of duty to something or someone. This could be our duty to our country, our families, or our jobs. And it is this sense of duty that can often drive us to do things that we might not otherwise do. As Thomas Jefferson once put it, ‘Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail’.
A duty is a serious commitment to care for and protect, and so it requires a great deal of trust in order to be put in such an important position.
Much like reliance, this one can again feel like a negative. We can imagine obligations as weighing us down or as tiresome chores. However, fulfilling obligations is the mark of an honorable person, and if anyone’s going to trust in you and your business then they need to see you honoring those commitments.
Obligation can be defined as: "An act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment."
To fulfill your obligations is to honor the trust that has been placed in you. Those to whom you owe those obligations will be trusting in you to have the good faith and capacity to meet their expectations.
Another term that is used a lot in relation to trust safekeeping. Safekeeping can be defined as: "preservation in a safe place."
For example by trusting your assets with a custodian or financial institution. This is so that you can trust that they will be taken care of.
By giving something important (be it a physical object or otherwise sensitive material) into someone else’s care, you are showing a high level of trust in their reliability and character.
The next trust synonym is protection, which can be defined as "the action of protecting, or the state of being protected."
If there is one thing that any of us want to be guaranteed in life, it is safety. The turbulent nature of the modern business world means that protection is all the harder to come by these days, and all the more valuable. If you can give your clients the all-important feeling of security, then you are on to a winning streak.
To provide protection shows that you are trustworthy and that people can put their faith in you to keep them safe.
Our next trust synonym, custody, is very similar to safekeeping, and can often be used interchangeably. It can be defined as: "The protective care or guardianship of someone or something.."
It is usually used in a business context to refer to a financial custodian, which is a bank or specialized financial institution that will safeguard the assets of financial assets to prevent theft or other loss.
To be in the custody of anything, be it financial or otherwise, shows a high level of trust has been placed in you for safekeeping and responsibility.
This synonym for trust represents one of our best qualities as human beings – our boundless sense of optimism. Harnessing that into everything that you do couldn’t be more important in the world of business, to keep yourself motivated and on track.
The definition of hope is: "a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen."
To show hope in a situation is to demonstrate your trust that it will work out in a positive way, and that it is worth committing to and sticking with.
Guardianship implies a level of trust above and beyond some of our previous examples like care and responsibility.
Any kind of guardianship, whether fiscal or otherwise, implies a serious consideration has been made about how trustworthy you can be deemed to be.
Again, this may not be an obvious trust synonym one at first glance. However, if we break it down then it starts to make a lot more sense. Expectation can be defined as: "a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future."
Once you set the bar high, it’s important to keep it there. For any person or business, this synonym for trust can really mark the standard that they set in their particular field.
To hold expectations shows a level of trust in a certain outcome or performance, that will most likely have been established by a previous outcome or performance.
The last word on our trust synonyms list, care, can be defined as: "Serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk."
As Teddy Roosevelt once said, ‘No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care'. If you can show authenticity and genuine emotional investment in anything then it’s impossible for people to not buy into you.
To demonstrate care for someone or something shows a level of commitment and responsibility that will undoubtedly foster trust and respect in the long run.
That just about wraps up our list of 18 synonyms for trust! Thanks for taking the time to read through them.
If you want more content from Trust Signals, be sure to sign up for updates and content that will keep you in the know. We’re here to help your business build brand trust during a time of skepticism and distrust.
Ben is a freelance copywriter, voice actor, and education specialist. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts (BA) focused on English Language and Literature from King's College London.
The audiobook version of Trust Signals is now available as an 18-episode podcast. The eleventh...