Monday, March 17, 2014

Trust Me, I'm Here to Help

I've discussed likeability and trustworthiness before. I've discussed how you gain trustworthiness too. Two recent books try to push us further along the trust spectrum: Trust Inc. and The Truth about Trust. While similar in topic, they diverge a bit. The former book pulls out the hackneyed dimensions of trust: ability, believability, connection and dependability. Many of us think we trust those who have credibility because of experience and integrity. We also trust those who are approachable and accepting of us.

The latter book adds another factor: helpfulness and gratefulness. If we've been helped and feel grateful, we're more likely to trust another person. We might even transfer that level of trustworthiness to another person who was indirectly involved in getting us out of sticky situation. While Trust Inc. tries to collect advice for corporations to rebuild their trustworthy image, it might be as simple as having excellent customer service. Other studies have shown that customers are more loyal to a company that has resolved a problem than to a company with which they've never had a problem.

If you want to build trust in your organization, either with customers, employees, suppliers or other stakeholders, you may not be able to do any better than to solve some of their problems rather than ignore their pleas for change.

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