What matters most to you? It might be timeliness, transparency, meaning and clarity or a myriad of other virtues to value. Whichever it is for you, it will only positively contribute and hence build trust when you visibly, actively and consistently demonstrate it, every minute of every day in business. For if you don’t, trust will simply be out of your reach. When we say one thing and our actions demonstrate another, doubt, suspicion and disconnection arise. Trust is a priceless commodity in business, one that the changing business world is not only seeking, but also monitoring and demanding.
Lack of trust is a bi-product of disconnection in business leadership. Without any evidence of conviction, these common words from the business world are simple empty vessels:
a. with a long-term supplier
….but you are a valued customer; we’ll be back to you
b. with a team member
….I’ll find time tomorrow to explain
c. with a customer
…we’ll let you know when it arrives; it’s the latest model; it’s the best price you’ll find in town
Without evidence, there’s no walking the talk, it’s simply a stroll in the park – round and round and not necessarily getting anywhere!
Priceless commodities are commonly precious to people’s hearts. They are the water for the marathon and the bow on the gift! They earn that which money cant buy – trust!
Act as you say you will; a trust-builder
Verbalizing an action builds expectation in another that it will truly happen. We often hear I’ll put my word to it. If and when the spoken action does not happen, a sense of violation occurs, and the expectation escalates into a right. Once rights are violated, the experience becomes negative and emotional.
Doing what you say you will is simple, honest and effective. Be sure you can deliver before speaking, speak with clarity and detail and deliver in full sight, or alternatively follow up with news of the action being delivered
Timeliness; a trust builder
Time is a point of reference, yet can mean different things to different people in different situations. Two minutes can seem like a lifetime to an expectant mother or a business man at the stock exchange on one day, yet a small price to pay on another. When a point of reference is understood and it comes from the same ‘dictionary of expectation’ it evolves into a measurement.
Delivering an action within or before an expected timeframe will build trust. It cements reliability and allows the user to come back for more!
Authenticity; a trust builder
We often hear reference to the real deal, inferring that what you see is what you get. Authenticity makes us feel comfortable – we feel no facades, no masks, no false pretences, only that which is as we are, in both good and bad times. Authenticity has no need to change as it serves ‘as is’.
People relate to that which they know and that which they know serves ‘as is’. Genuine, consistent and real over time, authenticity builds and strengthens trust as it allows people to know where they stand, with no surprizes stalling progress.
Stephen M R Covey* refers to trust from a balance sheet perspective, with direct and measurable impact of trust on the business – he refers to this as the economics of trust. His formula is clear: When trust goes down, speed (of response and results) goes down and cost goes up. When trust is high, speed (of response and results) goes up and costs come down.
What is it that you are saying, doing and displaying that will increase your credibility bank, and allow you to be ‘up there’ on the commodities market as an investor of choice in the portfolio of trust?
*Speed of Trust, Stephen M R Covey
Debbie Nicol, Managing Director of Dubai-based ‘business en motion’, and creator and author of the ‘embers of the world’ series, is passionate about change. She works with both traditional and contemporary toolkits that move businesses and executive leaders ahead, whilst working on leader and organizational development, strategic change and corporate cultures.