I have discussed, in previous posts, the importance of trust in any business (or personal) relationship and that the lack of trust will make processes inefficient and relationships ineffective. I have also discussed the two pillars of trust: character and capability.
To be trusted, we personally need to be credible. Like any journey of personal change, we need to start by looking at ourselves. The first step in creating a trusted environment, therefore, has to be to look at what we need to do to build our own credibility. We can break character-based and capability-based trust down further into four core areas.
Integrity is about doing the things that we say we are going to do. It is walking the walk and not just talking the talk. Integrity includes sincerity but it is also more than this. To live our lives with integrity we need to have the courage to stand by our values and beliefs. It takes conviction. Showing personal integrity was one of the 6 major deposits in the emotional bank account discussed in the #sevenhabits posts.
The lack of integrity is one of the key reasons of personal trust being broken. If someone wants to discredit you, they might want to show you have been dishonest in the past or that you have a hidden agenda.
Integrity is part of character.
Intent is about having a solid and transparent motive. If our motive is clear to all, then trust will be increased especially when our motive is to try to gain a win/win solution.
When we have a dubious or hidden agenda or if we seem to have other interests in heart, we lose trust. People can also try to discredit you based on trying to show your intent is not honest or that you have a hidden agenda.
Intent is part of character.
Our credentials show that we have the skills, knowledge and experience to perform the job at hand. We all look out for the credentials when choosing, for example, a specialist doctor to help us with an ailment. It is not enough to know the doctor has good character because to trust the doctor we will want to know their credentials.
With a lack of credentials, we will not consider someone suitably skilled to do the required job. In a competitive scenario, others will try to show they have better credentials than you as a means to try to discredit you.
Credentials is part of our capability
Beyond just having the necessary skills and knowledge, we will also be judged by our track record. Do we have a history of producing results?
If we are known to have had dubious results in the past then the trust in us will be eroded. If we have a history of results we will build a reputation for being competent. Our track record goes a long way to prove our capability and in a competitive environment, others will bring their own results to try to discredit you and show they have a better track record.
Results is part of our capability
By understanding these different cores of personal trust you can look to see where your weakness are. Be critical of yourself if you want to succeed in business. Which core do you need to improve? By improving the necessary core you can increase your overall trust profile.