The 8 Pillars of Trust

I recently read a book called the “The Trust Edge” which explains how you and your organization can earn trust.

Author David Horsager contends that a lack of trust is your biggest expense because it is the currency of business and life.

I agree.

Mr. Horsager defines trust as a confident belief in someone or something to do what is right, deliver what is promised, and to be the same every time in spite of circumstances.

Horsager identifies twelve barriers to trust: conflict of interest, threat of litigation, lack of loyalty, increasing examples of others untrustworthiness, threat of exposure, lack of control over technology, fear of the unknown, negative experiences, individualism, differences between people, desire for instant gratification, and a focus on the negative.

To overcome the barriers, Horsager offers eight “pillars of trust.”

The eight pillars all take time and there no quick fixes for any trust issue.

Here’s a deeper dive. We think you’ll find lots of wisdom in the list.

Clarity. Clarity starts with honesty. People trust the clear and distrust the vague. Communicate clearly and frequently.

Compassion. Think beyond yourself. There are four keys ways we show we care: listen, show appreciation, be engaged, and serve others.

Character. Have high morals and be consistent in your thoughts, words, and actions. Always ask, “Am I doing the right thing?”

Competency. Humility is the first step in learning. Create a regular plan for staying competent and capable.

Commitment. Great leadership demands sacrifice. The people who stick with you when things are tough are the ones you can really trust.

Connection. Trust is about relationships. In every interaction we increase or decrease trust. Be genuine, and be grateful.

Contribution. You must deliver results to be trusted. Give attention, resources, time, opportunity, and help.

Consistency. Probably the most important pillar of all as it gives meaning to all of the other pillars. You will never get one big chance to be trusted in your life; you will get thousands of small ones. Just one inconsistency can change people’s perspective.

We’d thought we share these pillars as a useful guide to your personal and business relationships. When elected officials, CEO’s, companies and governing bodies fall short–my guess is it’s because they are failing on one of more of the above pillars.

We believe that leaders given the public’s trust should abide by these pillars. All eight of them.

Do they?

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