We’ve got the formula for establishing it.
Visit any news website and you’ll see scores of headlines lamenting lack of trust in corporations and relationships. And that we’re all consumed by trust makes a lot of sense: trust, or the confidence you have in someone, affects every social relationship you have, romantic to purely platonic. What most people forget is that trust is also critically important in business.
The Speed of Trust
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In The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey and Rebecca R. Merrill reveal that trust actually allows businesses to execute on their goals faster and at a lower cost in what’s known as the economics of trust. For example, before 9/11, it took Americans 30 minutes to get through airport security for national flights. After 9/11, as trust rapidly declined, security clearance required an hour and a half. Due to the fear of terrorist attacks (lowered trust), everything started to take longer (lowered speed), and as a result, expenses for security machines and personnel rose (increased costs).
In this case the classic economic formula of strategy x execution = results doesn’t hold. An element of trust must be added. But would you know where to start? Covey and Merrill do, and it’s with you.
If you can’t trust yourself to be credible, they say, getting anyone else to trust you is a lost cause. To start you off on the right path, Covey and Merrill developed a system for building personal integrity called The Four Cores. Following, you’ll learn what they are and how they work so you can start beefing up your trust muscles today.
Core 1, Integrity
What it is: being honest, standing by your principles and doing what you say you’ll do.
Integrity in Action: Tennis star Andy Roddick provided a great example at a 2005 tournament. At match point, his opponent’s serve was called “out” and Roddick proclaimed the winner. Then he shocked everyone by showing that the ball was actually “in.” When the game continued, Roddick ended up losing the match, but he had retained his integrity.
Building yours: Make and keep commitments to yourself, even if it just means consistently getting up when your alarm clock goes off every morning. Sticking with a simple commitment like this will increase your self trust.
Core 2, Intent
What it is: Positive motives and behavior.
Intent in action: This one likely won’t surprise you: Covey and Merrill explain that comparing professions we trust showed that we trust NGOs more than politicians, largely due to common belief that NGO motives are generally conscientious, while those of politicians are not.
Build yours: You can improve intent by analyzing and redefining your motives, asking questions like “Am I really listening to this person or do I just want to win the argument?”
Core 3, Capabilities
What they are: Developing abilities that evoke confidence.
Capabilities in the wild: Honing capabilities in one arena of your life can spill over positively into every other area. For example, research has proven that a child who learns a musical instrument is likely to possess higher self-confidence, which can benefit other pursuits, like academics or soccer.
Build yours: One way to improve your capabilities is to keep learning. Try reading up on new developments in your industry or doing your own research in an area you’re interested in.
Core 4, Results
What they are: a track record of deeds to which you’ve committed yourself.
Results in action: Take FedEx. The delivery company has a respectable reputation for actually delivering overnight as they promise. Because of this, we trust their delivery methods and so does the company itself.
Build yours: Say that, in order to build core 1, integrity, you’re already holding yourself to getting up and out of bed at 6:00 every morning when the alarm goes off. Add in a result you’d like to achieve by virtue of that follow-through – perhaps writing for an hour as soon as you wake up to have 1,000 words of original verbiage by the end of each week – and track your results.
Start working on these core principles and you’ll develop your own self-trust, leaving you strong and positioned for inviting others to trust in you.
Learn more about how trust impacts business and how you can improve your trust quotient in The Speed of Trust, or check out the quick summary of all the key insights on Blinkist.