Successful organisations revolve around trust. The more you trust your colleagues the less you worry about them:
- You spend less effort checking up
- You spend less time looking for alternatives
- You spend less money on lawyers and contracts
As trust rises, business becomes faster, smoother and cheaper. Frictional costs disappear. As Steven Covey would say, business moves at the “speed of trust”.
Trust is a big deal.
So what is trust?
No 2 by 2 model will really ever define trust, but hell, here is one anyway, put forward by Peter Scholtes:
Trust is based on two factors:
- Aptitude: The extent to which I think you are capable
- Benevolence: The extent to which I think you have my best interests at heart
I am affectionate towards my daughters, they care about me, but they are hopeless. I wouldn’t trust them to make me a cup of tea, let alone wire a plug.
I respect the Prime Minister, he is a clever man, though he taxes me enough to fund the Houses of Parliament’s wine cellar. I certainly don’t trust him.
There aren’t really many people I truly trust. Which is a shame, because at best lack of trust is expensive and at worst… well I’m sure you’ve been there.
So how do you and I build trust?
If you believe the model then it is really simple:
- Show competence; do what you said you were going to do when you were going to do it.
- Be benevolent, show that you care, go further than you really needed to go.
The strange thing is that more often than not you have to give trust before you can receive it. All of which makes me wonder; how many people truly trust me?
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