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Trust - The "Secret Sauce"

#eqfit #orgsoul #trust Aug 28, 2023

Trust. When you think of this word, what comes to mind? Trust seems to be such a simple concept but when I ask people to tell me how they trust, they struggle with answering that question. Is there a specific way we trust? Are there different trust styles? Do people trust differently? The answer to all of these...Yes.

Trust vs Loyalty

It is important to start exploring trust by understanding the difference between trust and loyalty. Loyalty is usually to a person but it could be to a team or organization. The critical element to loyalty is where does it come from. Is it based out of trust, a positive outcome, or, is it based out of politics. Loyalty based in politics is almost always divisive and can be toxic. Loyalty in that context is based on a foundation of "what can you do for me". It turns the focus to self goals and away from team or organizational goals and objectives.

Many people I have worked with confuse trust and loyalty. Some of this is natural and some is self-serving. We want people to be loyal to us but we don't like it when they are loyal to someone else and it hurts the effort or success we are trying to achieve. We have all experienced organizations that operate on an "us versus them" mentality, or what we might call silos. This approach disrupts the creation and flow of trust.

Is loyalty bad? Not necessarily. If it comes out of trust, then loyalty can be healthy. So, how does that happen?

Foundations of Trust

There are many different models to describe how trust is generated. I like to use the trust equation as a good place to start.

The definitions are in the context of a salesperson building trust with a buyer, but could easily be adapted to any situation where someone wants to build trust, either at work or in life. This comes out of the EQFIT® Smart Selling online course.

With a good understanding of how trust is generated, we can start to look at what that means for different people. Yes, different people approach trust building in different ways. Think of this as your "Trust Style".

Trust Style

Can we measure our trust style? Fortunately the answer is a resounding YES! Yvette Bethel, a good friend and SME (subject matter expert) on trust, has created a new assessment that measures a person's trust style. Think of this as how you prefer to build trust with others.

There are 3 "pillars" of trust in this assessment, along with 8 beneficial outcomes of trust. The 3 pillars are:

Integrity - Transparency And Honesty: Includes both transparency and honesty with self and others

Emotional Mastery - Self Awareness: Emotional Literacy, Recognizing Patterns + Self Regulation: Consequential Thinking, Optimism, Navigating

We Disposition - Team Orientation: Empathy, Inclusion, Engaging others, Connecting with others to be productive + Shared Vision: Requires understanding your personal vision and goals and being willing to step out of your comfort zone to get there together.

These pillars of trust will be in an order of priority depending on how someone prefers to build trust. For example, it may be a WEI style, meaning that the person prefers to build trust first from a "We disposition", then next through "Emotional mastery", and lastly through "Integrity". This is a specific trust style.

Important note: Integrity is not a measure of how much integrity someone has. It is a measure of how they use their integrity in their style of building trust. Someone may have high levels of integrity but approach trust building with integrity being less represented in their trust style.

This is a deep insight assessment. When you start to get your head around the data it is providing, new horizons of understanding emerge. What if you knew the "trust style" of other people. How they like to build trust. Then you knew your trust style. Can you begin to see the possibilities for enhanced levels of trust?

Trust as an accelerator of success

I recently did a project with an organization that is relatively new and growing fast. As with most organizations like this, they find themselves in a rapidly changing environment where bringing on new clients and serving them well is critical to their continued success. Having worked with clients like this for many years, I can see the organizational and relational gaps starting to increase. This is natural for rapidly growing organizations. The initial "glue" that held things together was their shared expertise. Once that starts to wane due to increased pressure and the need to manage multiple priorities, the foundation to stand on becomes shared trust. The challenge is that many of these team members are new within the last 2 years, so trust has not had the opportunity to develop and fully mature in every relationship.

Enter the Trust Style Inventory

A missing piece for me has been how to measure trust. Yes, there are other assessments out there that measure trust, and there is one I really like by Dr. Chuck Coker, that does an excellent job of measuring trust in many facets. For this project though, I really needed to understand how each of the team members were approaching building trust through their unique trust style. Enter the Trust Style Inventory from Organizational Soul, LTD. Of the 5 people that were measured, we came up with 4 unique trust styles. This created a wonderful feedback session where each individual could understand their trust style and the trust style of other team members. This understanding led to a very productive learning experience. Each team member had the opportunity to better understand how others approached building trust. This removed several roadblocks and misunderstanding, while opening new avenues of trust building.

"Trust is the currency of getting things done."

This is a saying I use a lot...and it is true. To facilitate getting things done more efficiently and effectively, we need to have a certain level of trust. Without that trust, it will take much longer and a lot more effort to get the same thing accomplished. getting things done with another person, would you rather like them or trust them? No, this is not a trick question. I know most of us would like to have both. But trust is something you can build on and count on to get things done.

Measure what matters

This is a continuation of our exploration into tools that can provide an advantage by measuring what truly matters. If you knew how your team members like to build trust, would that be helpful? If you knew the trust style of other people in your life, would that be helpful?

In today's world, the ever increasing pace of change adds stress to every aspect of our lives. One of the best antidotes to this is trust. Knowing how you and others like to build trust is an advantage that brings real value and ROI.


For more, check out our other resources:

EQFIT® YouTube Channel


EQFIT® Podcast

 Copyright © 2023 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected].

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