Although it seems obvious – trust is fundamental to us and we judge where to put our trust and how much trust to give without thinking, whether it’s advice from a colleague or employing a consultant.
Trust and how much people trust us is key to how you get on in your personal and business life. If you aren’t trusted to do your job, keep that confidence, represent your organisation, then progression can be blocked for you.
So how can we increase the trust other people have for ourselves and how can we understand our trust in others.
Let me introduce you to the TRUST Equation. This was developed in the MAC Group (now part of Cap Gemini) and has been used in organisations for around 30 years.
Trust is a factor of Credibility, Reliability, how well you know someone (Intimacy), and it is weakened by our Self Interest and the element of Risk relating to the situation where trust is being applied.
This can be presented in the following equation
TRUST = CREDIBILITY X RELIABILITY X INTIMACY
SELF INTEREST X RISK
Let’s look at these factors one by one – the top line first, what build trust
- CREDIBILITY: What qualifications or experience you have that supports your position, words, actions, opinions. For example the Credibility of a Doctor is often inherent in his/her title, despite age, gender, etc.,
- RELIABILITY: Can you demonstrate that you have delivered what you say in the past, or to the expectations of others
- INTIMACY: How well the participants to the Trust know each other, maybe they have been referred by another or maybe have worked together in the past
Now let’s look at the factors which can negatively impact trust – the lower line (divide by)
- SELF-INTEREST: The more that you put yourself at the centre of the conversations you have, the more your customer or stakeholder will feel less inclined to trust you. By putting them at the centre of the conversation, and your actions, the greater trust they will feel for you. Self-interest diminishes the power of Credibility, Reliability and Intimacy.
- RISK: The greater the risk, the higher the stakes, and in turn, the more important it is to put a high value on your credibility, reliability and intimacy. People will be putting their trust in you to deliver, and any doubt they have will stop them from taking that chance.
By putting strong foundations into your relationships by delivering what you’ve promised, acting with your stakeholder’s interest at the centre of what you do and by having the right skills to do the job and knowing when you don’t and saying so, will build a strong trust bond that will work both ways for the future.