Soundview Executive Book Summaries


The Decision to Trust

I ran across a 2010 article by the Pew Research Center entitled Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor. Some of the numbers were surprising and discouraging. We are currently at our lowest level of trust in government since before 1978. Barack Obama has the lowest trust rating of any president over the past eight administrations, including Richard Nixon.

And this isn’t just a trend in our view of the government. The Pew research also shows a low rating of trust in banks, large corporations, national news media, the entertainment industry and labor unions. Those organizations in which we have high trust include colleges & universities, churches, small businesses, and technology companies.

I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised then that there is a new trend in business books around the topic of trust. Stephen M.R. Covey just released his second book on trust called SmartTrust. Other recent books include Liars and Outliers by Bruce Schneier, Trust Agents by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith, and The Decision to Trust by Robert Hurley.

Hurley’s book is especially interesting in that he not only makes a strong case for the importance of trust in organizations, he also provides the steps to building trust at all levels. Here is what Hurley promises that we can learn and do about trust:

•Make better decisions concerning who to trust, to avoid harm and increase pressure on untrustworthy agents to reform themselves.

• Allocate your trust building energy better by appreciating how different people approach the trust decision.

• Identify the root cause of trust issues based on 10 trust factors.

• Offer concrete interventions and reforms that can enhance trust in each of the 10 trust

factors.

• Clarify in which situations building and repairing trust can work and those where it

may not work.

• Provide a method for enhancing trust at different levels: with a person, within teams,

across teams, across national cultures, within organizations, and in leadership.

If you found yourself nodding with agreement at the lack of trust in your organization, then you might benefit from our upcoming Soundview Live webinar with Robert Hurley, How to Create a High-Trust Organization. Hurley will discuss the trust crisis in detail and, more importantly, tell us how to turn things around.

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1 Comment so far
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Trust is more an emotion than it is a decision one makes. Trusting someone (or something) is a sense that your mind and body has to accept what certain “environments” exist; things that are said, things that are done…and things that are not said or done. People in positions where credibility, faith and “trust” are vital need to do and say the things that present the proper, appropriate and necessary environment where people will feel the emotion of trust. And, you are correct, our leaders in various sectors of society are not creating the right “trust environment.” We don’t feel it. But, again, we are not deciding to trust. Our decisions come from the depth of that trust that exists. And, right now, that depth is quite shallow. So, we decide, from that shallow nature, to have the unfavorable outlook on the direction leaders are taking us. Trust is an emotion that moves us to those decisions; both positive or negative…whatever is warranted.

Comment by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance




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