Vote for the One You Trust?

You could make a case that the best candidate to vote for is the one you trust. Personally, I think it’s a better rationale than:

The one you’d want to have a beer with
The one with the most experience
The one with the most moral clarity.

Of course, trust is a personal thing. Then again, so is voting.

So I’ve given you a little checklist below to assess your level of trust in each candidate in that little election they’re having tomorrow in the US. It is based on the trust equation, originally printed in The Trusted Advisor in 2000. It suggests trust is a combination of Credibility, Reliability, Intimacy, and low Self-Orientation.

(Not a US citizen? No problem. Here in the state of TrustMatters we accept your comments regardless of your citizenship!).

Tell us whether what follows is useful.

I trust ___ because is he the most credible, meaning:

• He is honest, means what he says
• He’s got the most relevant expertise
• He’s got the best credentials for the job
• He’s really good at what the job takes
• He speaks accurately—tells the truth
• He speaks completely—tells the whole truth
• Other relevant people recommend him.

I trust ___ because is he the most reliable, meaning:

• When he says he’ll do something, he does it
• I have more experience with this person than I do with the other
• He seems more consistent and predictable to me; no bad surprises
• He handles the details well; things work nicely around him, so that you can depend on him to get things done

I trust ___ because is he the most intimate, meaning:

• He’s the most likely to appreciate my personal experiences
• He “connects” with me—speaks about things that I deeply agree with but that don’t usually get articulated
• He’s the most open about things, no secrets with him
• He “gets” who I am, is empathetic, understands me

I trust ___ because he has the lowest self-orientation, meaning:

• He’s in it to serve others, not himself
• He hears criticism well, doesn’t get offended easily
• He really listens, without his agenda getting in the way of hearing
• He works on issues, is not preoccupied with self

What do you think? Do these criteria fit with what you think is important? Do they help you articulate your choice?

Do you think “I trust him” is a valid reason to vote for someone? Or not?