The Truth About Trust – Vanessa Hall

Ben Farley |
Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

The downfall of the untrustworthy and the battle for truth

“The decline of trust in the church is a very, real phenomena that we need to get our head around.”

But why is there no distinct move from the church towards restoring trust?

“People don’t know what to do.”

Vanessa Hall talking about the loss of trust in the church and the fallout that’s continuing unabated.

“I would say a lot of people actually hate the church. It’s not that they’ve just stopped going – there’s a hatred towards the church.”

“We’re all human, we make mistakes but we’re hiding and we can’t hide anymore.”

Entente – helping pick up the pieces

Trust continues to decline across all levels, be they institutional, corporate, community or family.

There’s the loss of trust in businesses, governments, churches, and charities. Among them are the sell-outs, the walkouts, the strikes, the investigations. Trust in all its applications is on the decline.

A counter to this decline is an organisation called Entente. Entente has been making inroads as it helps to pick up the pieces and to mediate and restore internal and external trust.

Entente is delivering a fresh approach to restoring trust and transform the way we do things in businesses, families and communities.

At the helm is Vanessa Hall – the president, CEO and founder of Entente. In this capacity Vanessa works with clients around the world, analysing, advising, teaching, consulting and mentoring in the building and restoration of trust.

Vanessa, who’s the author of the book ‘The Truth About Trust in Business’, said Entente came into being 12 years ago for the purpose of helping people understand and focus on what trust is.

The lost concept of trust

“It’s a word we use all the time, we know it’s important, but what I’ve found not only in Australia but around the world is we really don’t have a very good handle on this concept of trust.”

“What is it that’s going on? How is it built? How does it break down? What do we all do that contributes to that?” were Vanessa’s questions including ‘how can we get a whole lot better at building and restoring trust in our businesses families and communities?

“I’ve been writing, traveling, training and advising lots of different people from grassroots communities right through to political parties.”

Another example of the breakdown of trust is the church both here and in other continents.

Vanessa, speaking from Canada, said there was a massive breakdown of trust in the church there.

“Here in Montreal and in Quebec. I would say a lot of people actually hate the church. It’s not that they’ve just stopped going – there’s a hatred towards the church.”

Church destructive to culture

Vanessa said four out of the five major swear words in Quebec are actually words directly against the church. Why?

Canada’s church history has played a part in its own demise.

“It’s around the way in which the church came into the region. The influence it had on families and people saw the church as quite destructive to culture and we see this a lot in different parts of the world.”

“The decline of trust in the church is a very, real phenomena that we need to get our head around,” Vanessa observed.

Reasons come to mind – hypocrisy and child abuse are two of the more obvious ones.

Churches closed, the doors locked

“At the end of the day the church is meant to be representing God, representing Jesus and His teaching, and yet people might be hearing some of these messages, they might be reading the Bible and Christians might be quoting verses…”

“But the lives they may be living are simply not reflecting that. And so hypocrisy is a massive issue. The child sexual abuse, the Catholic church in particular with a lot of the hatred directed towards Catholicism,” Vanessa said.

In Canada, Vanessa said there are many churches now closed. Their doors are locked. No one goes there anymore.

“I’ve seen the same thing in Norway, the Nordic countries, but although the expectations on the church are high as they should be, the church is falling short,” Vanessa reported. “But what really concerns me is that the church is not taking this seriously.”

“We’re all human, we make mistakes but we’re hiding and we can’t hide anymore.”

Expectations needs and promises

Vanessa said when we talk about trust it needs to be pointed out there are two parts to trust.

“We’ve trust in the way we talk about human relationships and our organisations.”

“There are clear expectations, there are needs people have and there are promises being made. Those three things. What we call ENPs – expectations needs and promises. They play out in the way we choose to trust,” Vanessa explained.

She said we choose to trust in the church and we trust it for different reasons.

“Some are attracted to church because they’re going to get a sense of belonging, they’re going to be loved and there’s going to be lots of connect there.”

“Other go for a sense of faith and security and others go to learn and grow. But when those things are not taken seriously the church chips away at that trust.”

Church promises – simply broken

Vanessa mentioned the promises a church makes. These include how you’re going to be embraced like a family when you walk through the door.

“I’ve seen time and time again where those promises have been simply broken,” Vanessa confessed saying it’s because we don’t fully understand how much people are relying on those things.

Trust in the concept of faith and in God is different again.

“When people walk through the doors of church with the expectation they’re going to be welcomed and loved and cared for and that’s very important to them and that’s what’s promised, and they fill in the little card because they’re visitors and they’ve not been before, and they get an email or something, and they don’t hear from anybody again.”

Vanessa said this happens to people way more than we realise.

The battle for truth.

Vanessa Hall used the term ‘fake news’ when she made comment on what she called a unique space we’re in right now.

“People are searching for those they can trust. Who can we trust, whose voice can we trust. This is at a time when the media is the least trusted global institution according to the studies undertaken.”

“We don’t trust each other anymore. There used to be a peer to peer trust and that’s now in decline as well.”

“There’s a scramble around the world of people who are trying to find who to listen to and who can we trust in terms of finding who is the voice of truth.’

It’s time to restore trust

Vanessa said this is an amazing opportunity for the church to step up but unfortunately the church is one of the least trusted institutions because of the hypocrisy and other factors.

“It’s an opportunity but it’s one we have to take very seriously,” Vanessa declared but said there’s no distinct move from the church in the direction of wanting to restore trust.

But Vanessa said there’s a very good reason as to why that is not happening.

“People don’t know what to do.”

If you would like to listen to the full audio interview click play below



Entente – President, CEO and Founder, 

Vanessa has spent the past twelve years working with clients around the globe, analysing, advising, teaching, consulting and mentoring in the building and restoration of trust. She has worked with leaders from across Government, Corporate, Education, NGOs, Religion, is a regular conference speaker, an award-winning author, and a Non-Executive Director. Prior to her direct focus on Trust, Vanessa’s career
of 20+ years in Financial Services included leading nationwide Compliance
and Risk teams and starting her own boutique consultancy that serviced
some of Australia’s largest Banks, Insurance and Broking firms.


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