Our book, Making Trust Happen! How To Think and Talk About Trust & Experience & Create It, focuses on six “trust behaviors:” trusting, trustworthiness, trust relationships, trust structure, self-awareness, and systemic. We emphasize how employees interact with each other and their organization.
In their article, Sandra Sucher and Shalene Gupta, The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It, focus on “company trust” and the “company-customer interaction.”
The five key aspects of Sucher & Gupta’s book are:
- Trust is a relationship based on vulnerability.
- We trust in four different dimensions: competence, motives, fairness, and impact
- Trust is built from the inside out.
- Trust is in the eye of the beholder.
- Lost trust can be regained.
Let’s explore the authors’ second key point: We trust in four different dimensions: competence, motives, fairness, and impact:
Sucher & Gupta provide the following definition from their book by the same name as the article.
To trust fundamentally means to make yourself vulnerable to the actions of others. We trust because we believe they will do the right by us.
For us, the authors’ four dimensions are dimensions of “trustworthiness.” The questions they include in their book corresponding to each dimension highlight this:
|Is your company competent?
|Are you motivated to serve the interests of others as well as your own?
|Do you use fair means to achieve your goals?
|Do you take responsibility for all the impacts you create?
Our trustworthiness framework indicates that these four questions relate to “reputation.”
We often rely on reputation to assess behavioral trust (trustworthiness). People are doing what they say they do.
According to Sucher and Gupta:
When we choose to trust someone, we willingly give them power over us, trusting they will not abuse this power.
Trust is a special form of dependence, and is predicated on the idea that we can be more than disappointed; we can be betrayed.
Customers, workers, and other stakeholders will feel good about “depending” on a company with good confidence, motive, fairness, and impact reputation. But conversely, they risk losing customers and societal opprobrium if they have a terrible reputation.
When companies enhance their reputation, they increase their trustworthiness.
In the words of Sucher & Gupta, they are building trust, thereby creating “peace of mind.”
In our words, they are making trust happen, thereby creating “ease of being.”