Book Review: Trust by Dr. Henry Cloud

Are you tired of broken promises, shattered trust, and unreliable relationships? Look no further than Dr. Henry Cloud’s latest best-seller, Trust: Knowing When to Give It, When to Withhold It, How to Earn It, and How to Fix It When It Gets Broken, for a comprehensive blueprint on how to cultivate and restore trust in all aspects of life.

With real-life stories and practical advice, Dr. Cloud persuasively argues that trust is not an innate trait, but a skill that can be learned, developed, and even repaired when broken. After reading this book, I am already applying its valuable insights to my own life and making better decisions about whom to trust—or not! 

Over the course of the last decade, Dr. Henry Cloud has conclusively identified five essential components of trust:

1. Understanding
2. Motive/Intent
3. Ability
4. Character
5. Track Record

In the first section of the book, the author explains in detail what each essential component is, why it’s important, and how it fits with the other four—because all five are required for someone to have an appropriate level of trust with another person. 

For example, the first component is understanding. Cloud begins with a definition of the term and an explanation about how it’s essential to establishing trust. 

"Trust begins not with convincing someone to trust you; it starts with someone feeling that you know them."

The author then drives his point home that understanding alone is not enough to build trust. He emphasizes that all five components of trust — Understanding, Motive/Intent, Ability, Character, and Track Record— are essential. In fact, he stresses that someone could understand you well but not be trustworthy at all (p. 56). He meticulously unpacks each component, ensuring that readers have a comprehensive understanding of them, as they form the backbone of his trust-building framework.

Photo of Scrabble tiles that spell the word TRUST

A master storyteller, Dr. Cloud draws on his extensive counseling and consulting experience to provide practical advice on trust. By sharing real-life stories, he illustrates how trust operates in all types of relationships, including business partnerships, marriages, and even the relationship we have with ourselves. These stories effectively reinforce the accuracy of his teachings and make his framework more relatable and accessible to readers.

That said, the author doesn’t let the reader off the hook by addressing only others; he regularly challenges the reader to take the time for important self-examination and reflection on their own trust issues. This is in keeping with his core value of humility which is clearly modeled throughout the book.

We need to look at OURSELVES in relation to trust issues just as carefully as we look for the 'essentials of trust' we need to see in other people.

Dr. Cloud is a man of faith and references the teachings from the biblical book of Proverbs as well as the teachings of Jesus. He does not shove his faith down anyone’s throat; however, he also doesn’t hide the fact that his framework is built upon biblical principles of humility, forgiveness, love, and candor.

I highly recommend both Trust and the accompanying Study Guide.

I’m also excited to announce that Trust is the first selection for my brand new “Book Miner’s Club” which launches on June 1st.

Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash