Trust and Integrity


While working for different companies and clients I started noticing that there is a big difference in effectiveness when relationships are based on trust. I feel that trust has a big impact not only on relationships with clients but also within an organization.

Because of this observation I searched for material about this topic. One resource was “Speed of Trust” also available as online course “Excelerators: The Trust Series” by FranklinCovey which the following summary is based on.

Trust example: A dog jumping high up in the air and landing in the arms of a man.

Impact of high trust

Trust in place within an organization has an influence on two things:

  1. Increased speed
    • Increased productivity
    • Faster collaboration
    • Enhanced innovation
  2. Reduced costs
    • Distrust creates a “tax” that high trust doesn’t have to pay
    • Reduced redundancy
    • Reduced fraud

Definition of trust

Confidence in the character and the competence of a person or an organization.

Trust = Credibility. It is made up of:

  1. Character = Constant, invisible
    • Integrity (honesty and truthfulness) - Make and keep commitments to yourself - Stand for something (courage) - Be open (humility)
    • Good intend - Examine motives (5 whys) - Choose abundance (win-win, act in the interest of everyone) - Declare your intend
  2. Competence = Situational, visible
    • Capabilities (graduation)
      • Run with your strength and go with others who are strong where you’re weak
      • Keep yourself relevant
      • Know where you’re going
    • Producing results
      • Take responsibility for results
      • Expect to win
      • Finish strong

Trust increasing behaviors

Behaviors of a person or organization that improve trust. It has to be a combination of them, not a focus on one.

  1. Demonstrate respect
  2. Talk straight (be honest)
  3. Create transparency (be open and authentic)
  4. Extend trust (giving trust)
  5. Deliver results (establish a track record)
  6. Keep commitments (do what you say)
  7. Listen first (understand)
  8. Practice accountability (hold yourself accountable)
  9. Clarify expectation (disclose expectations)
  10. Confront reality (take tough first)
  11. Get better (improve all the time)
  12. Show loyalty (give credit to others)
  13. Right wrongs

How to restore trust

  1. You need to know the nature of the loss
  2. Both need to be willing to restore trust
  3. The relationship needs to be important

Whatever lead to the loss of trust: This action might not have been intentional.

Trust vs. Analysis

While trusting is good, blind trust can be dangerous. This is why trust should be based on the situation, risks and credibility of the person/organization. There are four combinations of trust/analysis (smart trust matrix).

  1. No trust: do everything yourself
  2. Blind trust: trust without analyzing
  3. Distrust: Suspicious
  4. Smart/Informed trust: analyze the situation

Alignment in an organization

Dilbert strip from April 08, 204

See:

  • Low trust: trust because of “a leader”
  • High trust: trust because of the people and systems

Speak:

  • Trust is explicitly communicated
  • 13 behaviors, see above

Behave:

  • Make systems that inspire trust
  • Create symbols of trust

What trust changes

Trust seems to have an effect on basically everything according to the online course. Too many things to list ;)

What’s next

By being aware of behaviors that increase trust and the impact that “high trust” can have on organizations I’m eager to learn more about this topic.

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