Working well together, sharing assets fairly, planning collaboratively for the future – these are among the most critical tasks of an enterprising family. They all have in common a fundamental basis in trust.
In my experience, families who are able to sustain a culture of mutual trust, seem to adhere to three basic elements, whether intentionally or not:
- Family members are reliable. They do what they say they will do.
- They demonstrate feelings of intimacy. They care about each other and they like being together.
- They are honest with each other. They have open, direct communication — they are willing to speak and to listen when difficult things need to be said.
These elements might come naturally to some, and might need to be learned by others. Either way, trust is something that is built over time.