In almost 25 years delivering business strategy and planning in Tamworth and across the Midlands, I had not seen the Trust Equation. I was involved in a client marketing meeting recently and one of the presenters used it. The Trust Equation was developed by David Maister, Charles M Green and Rob Galford in their book The Trusted Advisor.
I make my living engaging with people who need help with their marketing in Tamworth or further afield. So, I get to work with a wide range of business people and their teams. I observe their behaviours. The Trust Equation is very useful in determining whether someone is trustworthy by looking at four personal attributes; credibility, reliability, intimacy and self-orientation.
As a professional business and marketing consultant for me credibility and reliability are pretty straight-forward concepts. Credibility, does the person seem to know what they are doing, and reliability is how much we trust them to do what they say they will.
Now I was intrigued by the word “intimacy”. In a business context what does this mean? Very simply, it is how much people feel safe with you. How much of yourself you give to others such as sharing aspirations, experiences, thoughts and ideas and even small details about your life. You are honest and open, you would never betray a confidence and you understand and connect with the other person’s values and ethics. In other words intimacy is how much you make them feel that you are part of their tribe.
Finally, all of the above is calculated relative to your self-orientation. If you are too motivated by your own self-interests and ‘what’s in it for me’ it will be difficult for you to be accepted as trustworthy.
Trust is extremely important for business and marketing consultants like me, who must earn trust in order to be successful and fulfil the role of trusted advisers to business leaders and their teams.
Trustworthiness is also imperative for people in employed leadership positions. Why would your troops follow your leadership if they don’t trust that you have their interests and the well-being of your organisation as one of your key-drivers?
Blog author: Karen Nicholls, Director, Roar Marketing Limited
Acknowledgement: The Trust Equation was developed by David Maister, Charles M Green and Rob Galford in their book The Trusted Advisor.