Trust matters! Charles Green, author of The Trusted Advisor, breaks down what trust is and how it's often established in low profile, discreet moments to build solid business relationships.
Charles experienced his breakthrough moment on workplace trust early in his career during a sales pitch at a sandpaper manufacturer. Asked by the client about his sandpaper marketing experience, Charles was about to launch into a roundabout explanation when his boss jumped in with, "None that I can think of but let's get down to what you really need." That simple statement contradicted everything Charles had been taught about sales. It kicked started his appreciation of how trusting business relationships are built.
Today, he has building trust down to a science, expressed through The Trust Equation where four objective variables-credibility, reliability, intimacy and self-orientation-measure trustworthiness. His formula is written:
Our conversation about these four variables moves quickly to the two most difficult to pin down, intimacy and self-orientation:
Intimacy refers to feelings of safety and security. This can be complicated in corporate settings where creating a safe, open space for people to comfortably take emotional risks is often discouraged. Intimacy doesn't necessarily involve sharing. By ensuring people are heard and listened to without fear of judgement creates emotional connection.
Self-orientation is more complex than its name may imply. It's not confined to selfishness or even greed used to propel a relationship. It refers to preoccupation with people putting themselves and their own agendas first, ahead of clients. Self-interest has a direct, negative impact on building trust.
We also discuss mistrust, meaning a general lack of trust or confidence, sometimes based on instinct and not to be confused with distrust, a complete lack of trust. Mistrust can develop when people are evasive and non-transparent or opposed to any level of confidentiality and closeness. People instinctively respond with like behaviour. Evasive, non-committal responses are met with more sidestepping until concluding in a disconnected, totally non-productive conversation.
Modern life and modern modes of interaction can also get in the way of trust. Digital interactions present a challenge for building rapport. Live video and conferencing software not only put a face to the voice-they provide clarity about what people want to convey. Connection creates trust: to create trustworthiness demands plugging in with emotional bandwidth. Be more intimate in text (yes, emojis are fine.