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Lying is to Trust as Kryptonite is to Superman

That may sound self-evident. But lying isn’t the only way to kill trust. It’s useful to review the bidding, in order to realize just how potent lying is.

Then too, there are green kryptonite and red kryptonite forms of lying.

Read on.

Four Ways to Destroy Trust

Using the trust equation as a checklist suggests at least four generic ways to destroy someone’s trust in you:

  • Develop an erratic track record. That leads to a reputation for being flakey, undependable, that you can’t be counted on. Soon enough you’re losing the big jobs, then the little ones. All because you’re unreliable.
  • Abuse others’ confidences. Develop loose lips. Tell secrets. Make hay on inside information. Laugh at others’ misfortunes, or just be emotionally tone-deaf. The invitations will stop soon enough.
  • Use others for your own ends. Do unto others before they do unto you. Always be closing. Find the competitive advantage at every turn. Don’t let your guard down, and don’t be a chump. It’s better to receive than to give.
  • Put distance between yourself and the truth. There are white lies, bald-faced lies, lies of omission, half-truths, partial truths, packs of lies, and lies of convenience. They’re all kryptonite.

Which is the worst?  It’s hardly a walk-away, but I say the last one–lying.

Cold, Flat-Out, Straight-up Lies

Robert Whipple told me of the experience of being lied to, to his face, with full eye contact. That degree of trust destruction is strong enough to take effect instantly. Let’s examine why.

Obviously, if someone lies to you, you can’t believe what they’ve told you. Which means the next thing they tell you has to be suspect as well. Being lied to immediately ruins the speaker’s credibility.

But that’s just a start. Lying also infects reliability. Because if you tell me you’ll do something, but you’ve lied to me before, then I don’t know if I can trust you’ll do what you’ve said you’ll do.

Lying also affects intimacy and confidences. If you’ve lied to me, your motives are suspect. I’m not about to share confidential information with someone who’s been dishonest with me about their motives.

Finally, that same issue of motives makes me profoundly suspicious of your intentions. We do not assume people have lied to us for our own good, but rather for their good. And we do not like that.

Green and Red Kryptonite Lies

As is well known, krytponite of all forms is debilitating or lethal to Superman, but red kryptonite is more harmful. To extend the metaphor, which is more lethal to trust: a bald-faced lie, or a series of veiled, half-truths? I suggest that the latter is worse.

A flat out lie has two elements of truth: transparency and completeness. It’s all out there, right away. When Shaggy sings It Wasn’t Me, it’s such an in-your-face lie you have to laugh. The band-aid is ripped off the scab all at once. If you trust after that, it’s entirely your own fault. That’s green kryptonite.

Then there’s the really bad stuff – red kryptonite lying.

Red kryptonite lying consists of half-truths, incomplete truths, truths not told at the right time. It is often justified on the grounds that it isn’t green kryptonite: “I didn’t actually say anything that wasn’t true.”

Red kryptonite lying is riddled with layers of bad faith. It leaves the receiver with nagging doubt. Why did he not tell me the whole truth? Why did she not bring this to my attention earlier? What about all the other questions this raises?

One trouble with red kryptonite truth is the nagging doubt it leaves you with – the lack of resolution about the issue at hand.

But perhaps the worst nagging doubt is about the nature of the liar himself. Is the liar incompetent? Or is he dishonest? Does the liar even know the difference? Finally – does the liar even know he is lying?

It is sometimes said that the best salespeople are those who can first sell themselves. Indeed, some high-selling salespeople have that ability; but I wouldn’t trust them.

Building Blocks of Trust

My oldest son, a cabinet-maker, custom designed and built a cabinet for a customer, who is a contractor and also refers work to him. The customer gave guidance on the specifications. They agreed on a price and within a couple of weeks the item was built and delivered. Then came what often happens with construction.  The customer wasn’t happy. Discussions began.

Things Happen

In this case, drawers designed to open and close with specified slides were noisier than the customer wanted. He asked my son to install different (and more costly) slides to reduce the noise. My son thought the customer had specified this design and that the drawers were quiet already. So, he did not think any change was needed.

Has this ever happened to you? Think about fee disputes, for example.  Here are approaches some people take:

  • Ignore the issue, and let the relationship lag (“I don’t want to deal with it”)
  • Get angry and self-righteous (“It’s his fault, not mine”)
  • Give in, and make concessions (“I’ll just give him what he wants”)

Trust Principles in Action

My son agonized for more than a week over what to do. He did not want to spend the time or money replacing the slides because he thought he had done everything right.  Yet, he valued his relationship with the customer.

While he appeared to ignore the issue for a short time, he opted for a different approach, which looked a lot like applying the Trust Principles.

My son then suggested a way to compromise, sharing responsibility for the costs and time involved in fixing the problem.  After a brief discussion, they reached a resolution.

How many times do we choose to ignore, get angry or give in, rather than face the issue head on, using a principled approach? Which works better?

Stupid Crazy Trust

Sometimes I get annoyed. Usually, that means I’m thinking like an idiot. Sometimes, however, it produces useful ideas.

Lately I’m annoyed by the constant repetition of a myth about trust. You know this one: “Trust takes a long time to create, but only a moment to destroy.” There’s no need to name names here, but you can see examples of it here and here and here and here.

This time, my annoyance produced some good: I can now explain why that myth isn’t merely annoying, but positively harmful as well. Here goes.

The Truth.

Let’s start with the truth. Most human relationships, like most emotions, take roughly as long to get over as they took to develop. Marriages or friendships don’t end overnight. There may be a flash point, a straw that breaks the camel’s back. But we cut slack for people we trust. We don’t dump them abruptly.

If trust were lost in a minute, battered women wouldn’t stay with the men who beat them; things are a little more complicated than that.

If trust died quickly, the SEC would have investigated Bernie Madoff when Harry Markopolos first lodged charges against him. If trust died quickly, the steady drip drip drip of evidence at Penn State, Enron, Toyota, and Johnson & Johnson would have ended at the first drip.

Most examples of “trust lost quickly” turn out to be either just the last drip in a long series of drips or a delusion about trust’s existence in the first place. You don’t “violate the trust” of a subscriber to your email list by sending them a worthless referral. The relationship you have with a name on your email list may be many things, but “trust-based” is probably a stretch.

Trust formed quickly can be lost quickly. Trust formed at a shallow level can be lost at the same level; trust formed deeply, or over time, takes deeper violations, or a longer time, to be lost. The pattern looks more like a standard bell curve than a cliff.

But, you might say, so what? Why are you annoyed? Why is that harmful? 

The Harm

If you believe that trust can be lost in a moment, then you likely believe you must be cautious and careful about protecting it. You are likely to think about trust as a precious resource to be guarded against being tarnished. You are inclined to institute rules and procedures to protect it and to give cautionary lectures about the risk of losing trust.

Yet these are precisely the kinds of behavior that result in trust lost.

I don’t trust the man who talks with me while pointing a gun at me‬—partly because he looks threatening to me, but also because he clearly does not trust me.

Trust, at a personal level, is like love and hate: you tend to get back what you put out. You empower what you fear. Those afraid of getting burned are the most likely to get burned.

This totally works at a corporate level too. I remember vividly the convenience store chain that gave monthly lie detector tests to store managers to prevent theft—and then wondered why the theft kept on happening.

Trust is a Muscle

Thinking of trust as something you can lose in a minute makes you cautious and unlikely to take risks. But the absence of risk is what starves trust. There simply is no trust without risk—that’s why they call it trust.

If your people aren’t empowered, if they’re always afraid of being second-guessed, then they will always operate from fear and never take a risk—and as a result, will never be trusted.

Trust is a muscle—it atrophies without use. And the repetition of the mantra “trust can be lost in a moment” just tells people not to use it.

Turns out the stupidest, craziest trust is the trust you never engaged in because you were too afraid of losing it. The smartest trust is the trust you get by taking a risk.

Real People, Real Trust: An Entrepreneur Wins with Partnership

John Dunn has worn many hats in his 25 years as a professional including consultant, change management expert, bed and breakfast owner, and most recently, screenwriter. Find out how John used the principles of trust-building to create a wildly successful business venture—strategies anyone can use to win business while making a difference for a community.

It Starts with a Mindset

John and I met a few months ago while working for a mutual client. Over lunch one day, I learned about his business ventures including the bed and breakfast he launched and ran from 2001 to 2006. I was immediately struck by his out-of-the-box approaches to developing a successful business—starting with a mindset of collaboration not competition.

“There were five B&Bs in the town we were serving, including mine. I suppose I could have looked at the other four as competition, but I believed there were an abundant number of customers and no way to accommodate all of them 365 days a year without leaving business on the table. I knew that the only thing preventing us from tapping into the full potential of the market was letting the public know about all of us. And I knew the best thing to do would be to have all five inns working together, viewing ourselves as a unit and viewing the hotels in town as our collective competition.

“My life philosophy is there’s plenty of everything—customers, money, everything. You just have to direct it to you.

“I’ve also been in business long enough that I know some people prefer data over a philosophy. So, I researched the number of people who came to our town and determined what we were missing in the market. The numbers showed clearly that if we created a strategic alliance and pooled our resources, we’d then have a competitive advantage over large hotels with big marketing budgets.”

An Offer to Help

John took a systematic approach to convincing each B&B to adopt his mindset and approach—first, he built trust individually, then he approached the group as a collective.

“Of the other four B&Bs, two were already established and the other two were in the process of opening. I took time to introduce myself to all the other owners and talked to each of them about what I believed was unique about my inn. I shared information readily and freely. Then I offered my help with anything they needed. For example, I had relationships with the city that could help the new businesses figure out how to comply with city codes. Once all the B&Bs were open and running, I went back and proposed my idea of working together to be stronger in the marketplace.”

Team Agreements

I asked John if he got push-back. “There was some resistance at first, and we had to have the conversation about how we could really collaborate rather than compete. One critical success factor was agreeing to be transparent. When we were upfront with each other we found we were able to make it work. We also decided we all had to be in full agreement to do something, and that we were all responsible for ideas on how to execute. For example, we decided that everyone would decorate for the holidays. Then someone came up with the idea of having a local florist put a uniquely decorated tree in every inn. One tree was raffled off and the others were available for sale. A lot of people benefited from the creative ideas that came out of our partnership—not just us.”

Systems Thinking

John says another key was in thinking of all the B&Bs as a whole.

“I’m a big believer in win/win. Sure, I would’ve loved it if my B&B filled first. But my over-riding belief was if we had 35 rooms and 50 people looking for rooms, even if mine were the last ones filled they’d still be filled.

“I kept reminding myself that the way you get more done is through leverage. For example, we could leverage money by collectively pooling our marketing budgets. So when the Chamber of Commerce held an event and wanted tables for all the inns, we had a joint table marketing all of us. That meant we could take turns at the event so we could all be at our inns keeping our customers happy. We instantly had 12 to 16 staff members to do marketing instead of two or three.”

Putting the Customer First—For Real

John and the other B&B owners consistently put customer needs ahead of any one B&Bs’ needs.

“We agreed that the primary way to differentiate from the bigger hotels in town was through our personal connections with customers and through exceptional customer service. So if a customer called my B&B and I didn’t have what they needed, I’d put him on hold and call each B&B until I found what he was looking for. Others did the same. We all viewed the entire inventory as our own, we knew it well, and we were committed to doing whatever it took to help our customers out.”

John’s mindset of “customer” extended to the community as well.

“I knew another way we could all differentiate was by promoting our historical buildings. So twice a year, in the spring and near the December holidays, we rented a trolley and opened up all the B&Bs to the public so they could take historical tours. I established a relationship with the historical neighborhood association for a nearby neighborhood so that our tours were timed to align with theirs, giving people more opportunities to see historical properties. And I partnered with the local historical museum by including admission into the museum as part of the tour ticket. All the pieces worked together and everyone gained something.”

“Real World” Application

The results John got speak for themselves: a 25% increase in occupancy rate over a year (which is a big number in the hotel business) and double the number of advertising impressions without any additional investment.

I asked John if he thought his approaches could create a similar return in the corporate world. His answer was a resounding, “Yes.”

“When you think about it, what we did was actually quite simple: we looked at ourselves as a unique product and created strategic partnerships that would create leverage so we could all grow and be better. Companies have been doing this for years. Take ERP implementations. I worked for a global consulting firm that had the capacity to build their own product, but instead joined forces with SAP. That partnership created a much more compelling value proposition for the customer. The key is to maximize opportunity with as few resources as possible.”

John emphasizes that the strategy isn’t viable without the mindset that goes along with it.

“I do a lot of consulting with nonprofits and the hardest thing to get through their heads is the notion of leveraging their values and products with others’ values and products. They have trouble with it because their organizations are built on a mentality of scarcity—they’re always fighting for budget, asking for money, and have a perception there’s never enough. So they naturally think, ‘I can’t partner with another because they might steal my donor list.’

“If nonprofits believed there was an abundance of money out there for everyone, then every single one of them would be successful. It really comes down to mindset, mental models and belief systems. That’s what I spend time on when I’m consulting with them.”

Dream Big, Win Big

There’s a unifying theme in all John’s endeavors: how to manifest the impossible with the possible. He’s jazzed about his new career as a screenwriter―three of his scripts have been optioned by known producers. John says, “Making movies is a way to interact with bigger and bigger audiences and change lives on a much grander scale.”

Here’s to big dreams with big results.

Connect with John on LinkedIn .

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The Real People, Real Trust series offers an insider view into the challenges, successes, and make-it-or-break-it moments of people from all corners of the world who are leading with trust. Check out our prior posts: read about:

Chip Grizzard: A CEO You Should Know;

Ralph Catillo: How One Account Executive Stands Apart;

Anna Dutton: A Fresh Perspective on Sales Operations;

Heber Sambucetti: A Learning Consultant’s Approach to Leadership;

and Janet Andrews: What Trust-based Strategy Consulting Looks, Feels, and Sounds Like.

Meet Anthony Iannarino: Pragmatic, Insightful, Focused. (He also loves our book.)

Anthony Iannarino, creator of The Sales Blog, recently reviewed our new book, The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust. Anthony is a thoughtful subject matter expert on what he calls “the new art of sales and sales management.” We’re pleased to introduce Anthony to you, if you haven’t met him already.

Adventures in Selling

Once again proving that my resistance to Twitter is often misguided, Charlie and Anthony first “met” in the Twittersphere, and when I joined the party Charlie suggested I follow Anthony. It’s not the first time Charlie gave me good advice.

Anthony’s blog posts are pragmatic, insightful, and focused. He writes daily on adventures in sales and selling, sales management, the sales process, and what it takes to succeed. But what really resonates for me about Anthony’s posts is the drum he beats about the underlying belief system that leads to success in sales. Some of my favorites include:

When Anthony’s not blogging, he’s juggling myriad roles: President and Chief Sales officer for SOLUTIONS Staffing, a best-in-class regional staffing service based in Columbus, Ohio;  Managing Director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company where he works to help salespeople and sales organizations improve and reach their full potential; and father of a thirteen-year-old boy and twin eleven-year-old girls. He has plenty to keep him occupied and we appreciate the time he took to read our book.

His review of the book, by the way, is Classic Anthony: pointed and thorough. Read it for yourself and find out what chapters he recommends zeroing in on. And don’t forget to turn to page 205 when you get your copy to read Anthony’s story about when to walk away.

Follow Anthony on Twitter, connect to him on LinkedIn, or friend him on Facebook.

Is Trustworthiness a Moral Value?

Every day, I’m a little blessed by the interest and thoughtfulness of our readers. Here’s an excerpted email I received this week that got me thinking.

The Email

Dear Charlie,

I took your free Trust Quotient (TQ) assessment. As I read it, the survey is presented as an evaluation of individual trustworthiness based on, among other things, credentials and one’s certitude in advancing a position based on one’s special knowledge.

To me, that’s not a measure of trustworthiness, but of perceived self-worth as measured by credentials and salesmanship.

I think of trustworthiness as a moral value.  I sense the value being measured in this test is not trustworthiness per se, but how deeply we identify with the importance of expertise and credentials, and how well we convince others of our personal trustworthiness by those same tokens.

Reader X

My Response (partial)

Dear Reader X,

Thanks so much for taking the time to express your thoughts. I suspect you and I are in complete agreement about trustworthiness as a moral virtue.

However, I think you misunderstand the TQ in a couple of ways―regarding the use of the quiz and regarding the idea of credibility.

Trusting the TQ

The TQ is first and foremost a self-assessment. If the results were used by third parties, for example for hiring or aptitude testing, it would render them useless, because it’s simple to skew the answers so that others would see it in a way the test-taker wanted to be seen.

However, if no one else sees it, then test-takers would only be fooling themselves and destroying a chance to build self-awareness.

Salesmanship Does Not Drive Trust

You suggest that the TQ assessment is “not a measure of trustworthiness, but of perceived self-worth as measured by credentials and salesmanship.”

A look at any recent survey shows trust has gone down. I suspect you might agree, however, that what passes for “salesmanship” has probably gone up. That, I suggest, is prima facie evidence that people perfectly well know the difference.

Does excessive “salesmanship” drive down trust? Of course it does.  You can see it in every factor of the Trust Equation, the theoretical model underlying the Trust Quotient.

When you run into a hustler or con artist:

with respect to Credibility―

    •     you don’t believe his words
    •     you don’t believe his sincerity
    •     you doubt his expertise and credentials

with respect to Reliability―

    •     you want to see outside verification: “Show me the CarFax!”
    •     you require legal contracts
    •     you examine track records

with respect to Intimacy―

    •     you hesitate to trust him with your private information
    •     you suspect his motives in trying to get close to you

with respect to Self-Orientation―

    •     you suspect he’s entirely in it for himself
    •     you see that when he pretends to be focused on you, he’s faking it.

Every part of the Trust Equation works in that case to show precisely how we do NOT trust such a person. This equation doesn’t suggest untrustworthy behavior—on the contrary, it provides the diagnostic tool to describe and identify such behavior.

Trustworthiness and Morals

I don’t think you can have morals without relationships. And just as the least trustworthy people are those who violate relationships by lying, bullying, and trying to hustle people for their own ends, so likewise are the most trustworthy people those who honor the Other in their relationships.

That means those who:

  • are honest about what they know and about what they don’t know
  • put their knowledge in service to the Other rather than to just looking good
  • can keep confidences
  • play in the long-run relationships game, not in the short-run transactions game.

Your comments fascinated and engaged me. I thank you for your passion, and hope you’ll forgive my reacting passionately as well.

Charlie

This particular reader chose to opt out after the free portion of the TQ because she felt it was contrary to her view of trustworthiness and morals. Too bad, because I think if anything, the opposite is probably true. As a result she missed out on the really cool stuff about the TQ:

  • The Trust Temperaments—the six psychological categories that describe how you go about being trusted
  • Most importantly, very practical, extensive suggestions about how you can improve your trustworthiness.

So let me ask the rest of you—how could we have written the free portion of the TQ test more attractively so that Reader X would have stuck around to find out the Good Stuff? Your suggestions are welcome.

Story Time: Risky Business

Our Story Time series brings you real, personal examples from business life that shed light on specific ways to lead with trust. Our last story told of the upside of being willing to walk away. Principle pays off in today’s story.

A New Anthology

When it comes to trust-building, stories are a powerful tool for both learning and change. Our new book, The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust (Wiley, October 2011), contains a multitude of stories. Told by and about people we know, these stories illustrate the fundamental attitudes, truths, and principles of trustworthiness.

Today’s story is excerpted from our chapter on risk-taking. It vividly demonstrates the potential upside of sticking to your guns.

From the Front Lines: Telling a Difficult Truth

Lynn P., a career systems consultant serving largely government clients in the United States, tells a story about taking a risk under pressure.

“Eleven years into my career, I took over a major project. A key phase, testing, was way behind schedule, and the Testing Readiness Review was only two weeks away. Passing the review was a very big deal: it meant completing a milestone and getting a payment for my company.

“I was due to present to all the clients and the senior managers of my own company. It was intimidating—and I was intimidated.

“I was under significant pressure to keep the program moving by passing the review. I also knew that we were not ready to pass.

“Knowing it could cost me my job, I went line by line through our assessment, citing the facts as I saw them. I said we did not pass the review and that we would need to delay to correct the critical items.

“There was complete silence in the room.

“My top executive asked, ‘Are you sure?’

“I said yes.

“After the meeting, both my client and my senior managers approached me informally to commend me for ‘sticking to my guns’ and recommending what I believed to be right.

“Apparently, I had created trust—a lot of it. Over the next 18 months, I was given roles of increasing responsibility, and was eventually promoted to program manager.

“I now believe it was this event that drove the client to increase my role. The experience gave me greater confidence in my own judgment and skills. And finally, it was this program’s success that ultimately propelled my career to the next level.”

The willingness to take a risk by being principled can pay off hugely—as long as you’re doing it for the principles, not the payoff.

—As told to Charles H. Green

When have you stuck to your guns? What payoff did you get?

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Read more stories about trust:

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Listen to a podcast interview with Andrea Howe and Charlie Green on Trust Across America Radio.

While We’re in Book Promotion Mode…

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re now in heavy book promotion mode. The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook has recently published and we want the world to know about it.

What We’ll Be Talking About

We’ll be posting about media mentions. We’ll be posting about our posts that appear as guest blogs at other sites. We’ll be posting interviews with other authors and bloggers, live and recorded. And we’ll provide links to archived interviews, audio and text.

We hope you’ll share our enthusiasm. We’re excited, of course, and want to get it into as many hands as possible. We believe in our message and we believe that this book is a great tool that will help people gain and master trust.

Trust is more important than ever right now and we want to help people be net drivers for increased in trust in the business world and beyond.

Why We’re Saying This

We want to provide value in our blog posts, and know that event promotion per se isn’t necessarily of interest to you. We hope to keep it interesting by focusing on others; meantime, you can help promote the trust theme.

Because here’s the bottom line. We suffer these days not from too much trust, but from too little – in our politics, our institutions, our businesses, and our lives. We need to do two things better:

  • Be more trustworthy
  • Be more willing to trust others.

The better we get at these two tasks, the easier and better things get done. And getting things done is good for the economy.

And getting better at trusting and being trusted is good for the soul and for the body politic.

The September Trust Matters Review

Trust Equation

Kristi Hedges applies the Trust Equation to Oprah, explaining how Oprah hits each part of it.

Is it lack of trust that causes problems between China and the EU? China’s Fu Ying thinks so.

Barbara Kimmel looks into how trustworthy companies perform compared to the overal market.  Cold hard dollars perform.

Historian Kenneth Davis puts our current societal lack of trust in historical perspective.  Does history teach that there hope for America?  Read and find out.

Kristi Hedges (again) offers concrete advice on how to win over someone who doesn’t trust you.

Dr. Bjornstrom investigated the effect of trusting your neighbours on health.  It’s what you probably expect, but what’s interesting is the effect of money on trust.

Scott M. Fulton III discusses the effects of hackers attacks on the company that issues SSL certificates, the anchor of trust in the web.

Paul Zak thinks Oxytocin, the “empathy” molecule, could be the key to restoring trust in our world.  Is a chemical the solution to global trust issues?

Fourty-three percent of people won’t tell their doctors about symptoms of depression.  It’s a trust issue, but perhaps not the one you think.

Anthony Iannarino writes about how to deal with customers who have been burned by other salespeople, possibly from your company.  They don’t trust you: how do you change that?


The Trust Matters Review highlights the best articles and posts on trust our research has turned up in the last month.

For a live stream of our trust research, follow our team on Twitter: @CharlesHGreen, @AndreaPHowe, @StewartMHirsch, and @SandyStyer.

If you’d like to share a great article about trust, let us know on Twitter or in the comments here.

For more links to outstanding articles on trust, see:

 

The June Trust Matters Review

Trust Equation

This month at the Trust Review we’re going to intersperse the more recent articles and posts with some goodies, but oldies, including one article from the 90s because, really, trust, trust never changes.

Yves Smith tries to answer the question, how long can trust created by public institutions last? Well, here’s a hint, you can tell where the Hapsburg Empire once ruled by levels of trust in public institutions? Whoa.

Doug Bartholomew of Industry Week discusses the issue of trust between manufacturing suppliers and their customers, including hard data from 90s on how top suppliers operate. I wonder if it’s still true that trust pays for suppliers.

Knowledge@Wharton, back in 2005, had Peter Cappelli lead a discussion on a question which is eternal, at least since the creation of Human Resources. Does HR exist to be a bureaucratic pain in the neck, or is it actually useful, and, dare I ask, worth trusting to find top talent (what used to be known as good workers?)

The Trust Diva blog wonders if a contract can actually save you from the bad intentions of someone you’re doing business with. Or, to put it another way, should you do business with someone you don’t trust, trusting the contract to keep them on the straight and narrow?

Daniel H. Pink writes about a Columbian bank’s efforts to use incentives to convince its loan officers to not leave their work till the end of the month. Did it work? And more broadly, do incentives work?

Brad VanAuken makes a point about brands, a brand is nothing without trust. Or, to put it another way, like McDonalds food, or hate it, you know what you’re getting when you order a Big Mac. A brand is a promise. At the same blog, Mark Ritson meditates on Sri Lankan beer and trust.

The McLaren blog has a 12 part series on trust building behavior, and they’re up to number 11. A good reminder of the basic points. Start with number 1 – straight talking.

Anthony Iannarino writes about delegation—the art of giving tasks to their rightful owners, which means trusting them.

Dave Brock writes about the commoditization of referrals, the invitations to join “referral networks” with people you don’t even know and receive prizes in exchange for referrals.

Discover magazine on how the perception of choice makes us lose our compassion for people. Even if those people were completely the victim of circumstances.

Denny Coates: trust and they will trust back, give and they will give back. Do you believe this is true?


The Trust Matters Review highlights the best articles and posts on trust our research has turned up in the last month.

If you’d like to share a great article about trust, let us know, in the comments here.

For more links to outstanding articles on trust, see: