Best Practices in HR

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David Whitmarsh
  July 12, 2022

Build Your Business on Trust

Do you ever wonder why some people can motivate others to get things done quickly, while others don’t? The answer; Trust. Stephen M.R. Covey calls this phenomenon the Speed of Trust and suggests that trust increases turnaround, lowers cost, and improves overall results. 

You’ll note this yourself when working with certain vendors; staging companies, marketing agencies, photographers, or mortgage brokers. When you trust the people you are working with you question them less, pay them quickly, and use them again.

The speed of trust is something you want to be mindful of when working with others. Whether this is in your personal life, your professional life, or both. Trust is the one thing that changes everything. 

Most of us think of trust simply as character, this includes qualities such as honesty, integrity, and good moral judgement. But trust is a function of character and competence. Consider this, someone with good ethics may be just that, a good ethical person, but would they be the best person to run your business? Perhaps not. You can have ethics and not have trust, but you can not have trust without good ethics. 

Results are vital to establishing trust. Experience can help you anticipate the needs of others and to act quickly to respond to any problems that may arise. Your knowledge isn’t alone enough to build trust but coupled with your character it’s an important contribution to building trust. 

Have you heard of the trust tax? When trust is low; speed goes down and cost goes up! When trust is high; speed goes up and cost goes down! When the people around you don’t trust you it can take you longer to get things done. Moreover, when you don’t trust the people you hire it can cost you more of your own time to manage them. No matter how you look at it, trust is a tax onto itself. 

Trust can be earned, given, lost, and even restored. Trust starts with personal credibility. To build trust with others you start by trusting yourself. Are you a person that you would trust? 

Ask yourself these 4 questions: Do you have integrity? What’s your agenda? Are you competent and capable? Do you get results? To further your understanding of how credible you are you can take this Assessment: The 4 Cores of Credibility

Consistent behavior is key when establishing trust with others. Maya Angelou said it best when she said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Good words have their place, they declare intent, but trust is built when you follow through with your actions. To reiterate, people will only trust you when you do the things you say you are going to do. 

Finally, to earn trust, you need to give trust. 

When you trust people, people tend to trust you in return. Trusting others develops reciprocity. As a leader you empower your team to do better work when you give them the tools they need and trust them to get the job done. Trust encourages, motivates, and inspires. 

When building a team, running a family, or being an effective member of the community, it’s important to understand that trust can take time to build and very little effort to lose. People will move mountains for the people they trust. So remember, in today’s highly competitive landscape building your business on trust may be your most important asset.