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More on Trust

Optimize Blog - October 6, 2015 - 0 comments

Following our last blog we’ve been asked to expand on trust and why it is important both in relationships within the organization and relationships externally with customers and suppliers. As we suggested in the last blog, to best succeed in gaining relationships of trust, we must operate in ways that seek to achieve the greatest mutual benefit for all involved.
But, like promises and assurances, commitments made with the best intentions only build hope and hope is not a strategy. What actually builds trust is when those commitments and promises are actually kept. Such trust gained helps to assure those we interact with that whatever the risks, one has a trusted and proven partner to successfully gain the results and values sought.
Gaining and maintaining trust is essential to winning support. So, everyone involved in such environments must perform optimally if the necessary trust is to be achieved and sustained. But, in order to so operate, it’s also important to understand how trust works. The first such understanding is that trust is gained as a function of both character and commitment that produces the promised or expected results. Most certainly, the character considerations of integrity, ethical standards, honesty, reliability and the other such factors, which combine necessarily together to create what is often called “character,” are absolutely foundational and essential.
However, high moral and ethical character alone is not enough. One also must be competent and capable in the area of interest to be trustworthy. Competency is built upon such considerations as talent, attitude, skills, knowledge, expertise and other such task-related capabilities.
Considering these as part of an integrated whole, it can be seen that trust, authenticity, relationships, execution, results, promises kept and value realized are all intimately interrelated and interdependent.
Stephen Covey offers good insights on the importance of this maxim in his book, The Speed of Trust. Covey writes, “In almost any discussion of trust, keeping commitments comes up as the number-one influencing behavior”. He goes on to say that “Promises made must be promises kept.”
And so what about trust externally? At an organizational level the character and trustworthiness of the company are continuously being carefully assessed by the customer along with the various features, functions, costs and other suitability factors of the offerings. These also include quality and expertise, or the competency of the service and support. Objective and subjective analysis of all these factors will typically consider the organization’s apparent agenda and behavior, along with the verbalized statements and claims made.
It is essential then that every aspect of the company is geared toward creating and maintaining trust with its customers as well as internally with its staff.
In the words of Jim Burke, a former CEO of Johnson & Johnson, “Nothing good happens without trust.”

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