Book Review: Trust by Dr. Henry Cloud

I received a review copy of this book; all opinions expressed are mine.

Dr. Henry Cloud is a bestselling author, psychologist, and leadership expert, and he’s written many books on a variety of topics, selling nearly 20 million copies. In his newest book, TRUST (Worthy Publishing), Dr. Cloud dives deep into this topic and provides excellent insights and tools that help readers navigate through both business-related and personal life situations and relationships.

Cloud’s book is divided into five sections. In Section 1: Trust Makes Life Work, he explains that trust is a foundational part of life and that we are wired to trust from an early age. In Section 2: The Five Essentials of Trust, he shares about five things that apply to pretty much any scenario: Understanding, Motive, Ability, Character, and Track Record. Some insights he includes about these essentials are:

  • Trust begins not with convincing someone to trust you; it starts with someone feeling that you know them.
  • Great businesses are built on a deep, empathic relationship with customers.
  • When the motive is to benefit others and not just ourselves, everyone profits.
  • Understanding and motive must be supported by ability.
  • Without the demonstration of kindness, trust does not ensue.
  • Trust cannot be given only on a promise. It depends on some abilities, and the only way we know the abilities are there is for them…to have been demonstrated before.

In Section 3: Growing in Trust, Cloud talks about building your “Trust Muscle” and breaking your trust barriers. And in Section 4: The Model for Repairing Trust, he goes over 7 important steps of this process. In this section, and throughout the book, he gives real-life examples of what some of his clients have gone through, from broken trust in marriages to difficulties in business situations. He also includes experiences from his own life to help explain things in a simple, straightforward manner.

Section 5: Moving Forward, goes into how to avoid repeating the same trust-related mistakes in the future. In this section and throughout the book, I like how Cloud includes Scripture to support many of the points he is making. For example, in this section on Moving Forward, he writes,

One of my favorite manuals for avoiding misplaced trust is Psalm 101. There, David basically says, “There are people I will not trust, and I’m going to stay far away from. There are also those I will get close to because they are good people.” Here are the traits and kinds of people he teaches us to avoid:

“Faithless people” who do not persevere in their commitments (V. 3)….

People who slander “their neighbor in secret,” meaning to gossip or talk behind another’s back (v. 5).

Haughty eyes that look down on others with a proud heart…(v. 5)…”

All in all, there’s a lot of wisdom in this book, gleaned from Cloud’s many years of clinical practice, research, and consulting in the business world, combined with some insights from the Bible. He writes, “Whether you need to repair trust to your marriage, your extended family, a group of friends, your church, a small business, or a major corporation, what you’ve learned in this book will serve you well.”


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