To Influence Me … I must trust you!

LeadershipJosh Patrick posted an article on his blog entitled, How Do You Know You Can Trust Someone?

We probably ask this question several times per day. These instances will occur with contacts with individuals in the workplace, social settings and media consumption. Often, the purpose of various interactions is to influence your thinking or actions. So, when I read Josh’s article, which included a “formula” for trust I was intrigued.
Josh discovered the “trust formula” in a book entitled, The Trusted Advisor. The authors had developed a formula to help advisors determine if they were being trustworthy.

The formula is based on four (4) elements: Competence + Intimacy + Reliability / Self Interest

The ratings are based on a scale of one to ten with one being low and ten being high, divided by self-interest. For example if you rated your-self or others rated you as: Competent (6), Intimacy (3) Reliability (7) divided by self-interest (3), your trust level would be 5.33. For this formula to be meaningful, we must consider the author’s definition of the terms we have used.

Here is my take, but you can read the original article here.

Competence – How capable you are using certain professional or manual skills establishes your competence level. In other words, the use of your expertise on behalf of your customer, client or other contacts displays your level of competence.

Intimacy – In this context, intimacy is about how much you care about your customers, clients or other contacts as people and how you demonstrate that you care about them. You must be authentic because you can’t successfully fake intimacy.

Reliability – This may be the easiest part of the trust equation to score high on. To be reliable you only have to be timely, deliver product or services on time, and of course truthful. If you can’t respond or deliver as promised, let the client or customer know in advance and arrange for a revised schedule.

Self-interest – This may be the most difficult to manage. If you’re in a business relationship managing your self-interest is difficult. Typically, as you discuss pricing, additional costs or fees, your self-interest increases. As discussions turn to your needs, self-interest increases. To the extent possible based on your type of arrangement, project fees may be a consideration so that compensation does not need to be continually discussed.

You may have a relationship other than a transnational one. You could be a mentor, presenter, team leader, manager or parent. Therefore you will have to demonstrate competencies, reliability, intimacy and self in different ways and in different proportions. The most important factor is to focus on your correspondent’s interest and needs. A good relationship only works when trust goes both ways. When we have high trust life is easy. When trust slips working or associating with others becomes difficult.

Related Articles:   Insight + Rapport   and  15 Attributes of a Great Workplace

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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