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Formula of Trust

Formula of Trust

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The model describes the variables which together describe the level of trust. Trust is an essential part of many good (private and business) relationships. Trust is a bilateral connection between two individuals (or one individual and an organisation whereby it should be noted that people hardly ever trust organisations but rather the individual with whom they are familiar). One trusts, the other is being trusted.


Related Models: Drama TriangleTypology of CommunicationPrinciples of Effective LeadershipTeam BuildingPillars of CommitmentTypology of Knowledge WorkersCoachingHerzberg FactorsCoaching ArtsFace-to-Face CommunicationTrust EquationFormula of Trust

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Formula of Trust

 

Background

This model is based on the ideas of Maister en Galford , The Trusted Advisor, and McGraw-Hill, Trust-based Selling. It provides the components of trust. Matt Hopkins has made some minor adjustments.

Related Models: Drama TriangleTypology of CommunicationPrinciples of Effective LeadershipTeam BuildingPillars of CommitmentTypology of Knowledge WorkersCoachingHerzberg FactorsCoaching ArtsFace-to-Face CommunicationTrust EquationFormula of Trust

This chapter describes three subjects relating to trust:

-      The formula of trust

-      The creating process of trust

-      The principles of trust.

 

The Formula of Trust

The model describes the variables which together describe the level of trust. Trust is an essential part of many good (private and business) relationships. Trust is a bilateral connection between two individuals (or one individual and an organisation whereby it should be noted that people hardly ever trust organisations but rather the individual with whom they are familiar). One trusts, the other is being trusted. This formula is intended for the person who wants to be trusted by the other person. Even though trust may be one of the most ‘intangible’ subjects, a formula does provide this phenomenon with some handles nevertheless. According to this formula trust consists of 4 variables:

-      Credibility

-      Reliability

-      Discretion

-      Self-orientation.

 

Credibility

To build up trust you must ‘do as you say’ and ‘say what you do’. “Walk the Talk’. You must prove that you fulfil promises. Credibility focuses mainly on the present – what is being said now – in connection with the past, based on reference material, study outcomes, publications or experiences. Credibility is strongly related to the words being used.

 

Reliability

Continuously exceeding budgets, timelines, quality standards or violating other agreements can strongly undermine the level of trust. Reliability is tuned towards the activities you perform. It is based on fulfilling promises.

 

Discretion

Discretion is about how you handle the existing/obtained information. Information is usually confidential. The more so if the information involved concerns another person. Trust is also based on how discretely this information is used. The level of discretion indicates the extent to which the other person feels comfortable about sharing this information with someone else. Does this person trust the other person to use information correctly?

 

Self-orientation

Self-orientation indicates whether the primary focus is on you or rather on the other person. The more you focus on yourself, the more trust will be lost. Despite being highly credible, reliable and discrete, being too self-oriented will push down the level of trust. The “what’s in it for me” approach will damage your relationship. So make sure you focus on the other person.

Self-orientation is the only variable shown below the formula line. This makes it the most essential variable.

 

The creating process of trust

Many alternatives exist for building trust. The latter is created at the individual level. Real trust is usually built up based on conversations between people. In this we recommend using a certain order.

 

Below are five steps explaining what one route might look like:

-      Approach: approach the client in an open dialogue discussing the issues that matter to him. The genuine focus on the client keeps self-orientation low.

-      Listen: for many people this is one of the most challenging competences. Listening carefully to clients will help you find out their main challenges and wishes. The possibility to come up with a proposal and give advice will have to be earned by understanding matters properly in the first place. Then you can be understood. (Covey).

-      Frame: try mapping the key issue, without seeming accusatory, by using metaphors, hypotheses, problem definitions and visualisations. In doing so never avoid precarious subjects. Try making these subjects sophisticatedly and villainously discussible. At least make them discussible. Formulate your own opinion and try to correctly draw the situation together. In doing so do not forget to ‘give’.

-      Look ahead: describe a future situation whereby the win/win mentality reigns supreme. Provide examples and make clear what is at stake. Describe future outcomes and results.

-      Commit: emphasise that you attach great value to making future steps together.

 

The order of these steps is not entirely irrelevant. A wonderful description of the situation, no matter how true, will not be experienced as confidence-building if you fail to listen to the other person. Listening is the most important step by far in this process. The biggest mistakes made are the following:

-      Not listening carefully

-      Jumping to summaries, judgements and conclusions/solutions.

 

Principles of Trust

In order to support a sound creating process it is important to be aware of several principles of trust. How we proceed is based on our convictions. These convictions again are determined by our standards, values and principles. Building trust cannot be ‘faked’. If you surrender your own standards and values then you will soon fail. A number of principles exist that should be taken into account:

-      Focus on the other person: a genuine focus that is, not for your own gain. Customer-orientation is a term organisations use quite often. The underlying motives are usually of a financial and economic nature for the person wanting to be trusted.

-      Focus on collaboration: the win/win mentality. Both parties must be seriously prepared to set and realise goals together.

-      Focus on the long-term relationship: the perspective should be the mid long or long-term relationship. Focussing on the (one-only) quick deal won’t help you build that trust. Believing that multiple shared successes can be booked in the longer term, however,  is definitely food for trust.

-      Focus on transparency: seeding transparency, openness and honesty will help you harvest trust. It will raise the credibility level and push down the level of self-orientation.

 

How to use it

Bear in mind that building trust is quite a challenge and takes time. You will only manage to build trust provided you are genuine, proceed according to your convictions, standards, values and principles. Or else you will always reach the moment of losing that trust in the blink of an eye. Be authentic... always.

Use the formula of trust for meticulous stakeholders and the force field analysis. Some stakeholders are so important for your programme/project that building a strong relationship of trust is inevitable. The intention of building up this relationship of trust should be tuned to the stakeholder: his or her interests and issues should be the basis. The fact that in the end it will serve your own outcome/result is quite another story.

Use the creating process for reflection. Building trust is a complex whole that cannot be contained in one simple process. Analysing matters might however help you understand which stages of the process are paid insufficient attention.

Learn to listen. A familiar term is LSA. Listen, Summarise, Ask. No matter how strongly you wish to give your own opinion, draw conclusions or tell the other person what things look like and what needs to be done, first you must be perfectly familiar with the client’s ‘experience cycle’. Make sure you understand, then be understood!

 

We wish you lots of trust!

 

Related Models: 

-   Drama Triangle

-   Typology of Communication

-   Principles of Effective Leadership

-   Team Building

-   Pillars of Commitment

-   Typology of Knowledge Workers

-   Coaching

-   Herzberg Factors

-   Coaching Arts

-   Face-to-Face Communication

-   Trust Equation

-   Formula of Trust

 

 

Sources:

-       http://matthopkins.com/business/the-formula-for-trust/

-       http://trustedadvisor.com/articles/Trust-in-Business-The-Core-Concepts

 

 

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