Mind the gap


Do you think others  find you worthy of trust?

How easily do you trust others?

If you practice People Voodoo, the issue of trust is probably as close to your heart as it is to mine. A relationship without trust can be a very lonely and uncomfortable one. To reduce that suffering we need to understand how trust works and how to bridge the gaps in trust.

Charles H. Green’s  Trust Equation is a brilliant starting point.


Trust = (credibility   x  reliability   x  intimacy) / self-orientation.


Let’s take a closer look.

  • Credibility is all about words; what we say.
    • Do you sound like you know what we are talking about? Are you knowledgeable and consistent in what you say? or do you wing it?
  • Reliability is all about our actions. 
    • Do you do what you say you’ll do? Can you be depended upon? or do you fail to follow through?
  • Intimacy is about security and emotion.
    • Are you confidential? Do others find it comfortable to share information with you? or are you known to embarrass others or leak information?
  • Self-orientation is about focus.
    • When you are focused on achieving your own goals do you still consider those around you? or does it appear to be all about you?

What is most humbling is the power of self-orientation to win or damage trust. Even if you scored 10 out of 10 on credibility, reliability and intimacy  (10 x 10 x 10 = 1000),  a reputation for having high self-orientation (10) can wipe out 90% of your good work. (1000/10 = 100).

Mathematics to one side, we intuitively know that it is easier to trust those who have our best interests at heart, even if they are occasionally late, or pretend to know more than they really do in the pub quiz.

This week, to practice some People Voodoo, why not focus your attention on closing some trust gaps.

  1. Be open and honest about what you know and consistent in the input you give.
  2. Check what you are committing to, ensuring you do not over-commit and under deliver, with deadlines or offers of time.
  3. Consider how you invite and treat information offered to you, whether that’s the way you handle paperwork or how loudly you speak in a public place.
  4. Ensure that you are demonstrating a genuine interest and concern for others.

And last but not least, if you are able to do so humanely, why not let someone else know what they could be doing to earn your trust.





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