Why did more people die from Covid-19 in the United States than in Australia? We focus on the following answer the article provides:

We’re interested in how the journalist, Damien Cave, uses the concept of “trust” – implicitly or explicitly since one purpose of our book, Making Trust Happen! How To Think and Talk About Trust & Experience and Create It, is to provide a framework to unravel what we mean when using the concept “trust.” 

We don’t argue that everyone should use our terminology. Instead, we offer our glossary to provide a context for discussion. We welcome alternative approaches.  

However, as we suggest in our book, we shouldn’t say “trust.” Instead, we should use (1) trusting, (2) trustworthy, (3) trust relationships, (4) trust structures, (5) self-trust, or (6) systemic trust. “Trust” has several dimensions. So, to think and talk about it, we need to specify the “trust perspective. 

Based on our framework, Cave uses “trustworthiness.” “Trustworthiness” means that someone’s behavior is predictable and reliable.

Our model focuses on an individual’s organization, whereas Cave’s focuses on the individual’s society/culture. 

Within his and our contexts, “trustworthiness” relates to an “other.” In our case, it’s an “other” inside an organization. In Cave’s case, it’s an “other” inside the society. 

Our book highlights two “trust behaviors” related to trustworthiness — congruence and reliability. We borrow these behaviors from the Integro Model. We also include two behaviors from Paul Lencioni’s  The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team: commitment (buy-in) and accountability (team members holding each other accountable.) In addition, we emphasize that 

Another way to assess trustworthiness is social distance. The shorter the “social distance,” the higher the chance of observing trusting attitudes and behaviors.’ 

We base this on the work of the behavioral economist, C. Monica Capra. For us, “social distance” can affect “trustworthiness.” 

Consequently, what’s missing in the United States is not “trust” but a shared collective good. Our trust model suggests that social rancor undermines “trustworthiness.” Cave’s article demonstrates this. We agree.

Without a sense of a collective good, “trustworthiness” will “co-disappear.”  When there’s no “buy-in,” and there’s no way to have peer-to-peer accountability, “trustworthiness” is absent. 

Alternatively, a shared collective good based on inclusion and equity creates “trustworthiness,” and it saves lives.