Two Stories of Trust

Two stories of trust.

Liz, a massage therapist, was asked by the new restauranteur who moved in up the block to give him some feedback during his “soft opening.” She gave honest constructive feedback, and he yelled at her. She went to her office and cried. Now they cannot speak or make eye contact.

Yesterday I needed to drop off $50 cash to a client’s office manager for an urgent need while the client was out of town. I asked for a receipt, and she said she wouldn’t be there when I got there – she’d be downstairs manning a booth at a health fair. I asked if she’d sign the receipt before I showed up, and I would leave the money and take the receipt – and she said “yes” without a moment’s hesitation. How quickly and non-disruptively that happened because she trusted me so much.

In the first example, a potentially useful business relationship was destroyed by low trust. How many restaurant owners would love for all the surrounding businesses to use them, refer people to them, bring their meetings there, and pass positive word-of-mouth? Add in the lost advice that Liz wanted to give, and his loss is tremendous. And Liz won’t be getting any joy or support from him.

In the second example, what could have been a time consuming and disruptive hand-off — pulling someone away from an active health fair to take delivery and write a receipt — was made much faster and easier because of the high level of trust involved. (I just got an email that the out of town owner has already sent me a check for the $50, without asking for an expense report or the receipt. Again, high trust.)

It should be no surprise when the Covey Global Speed of Trust folks tell us that:

  • high-trust organizations return THREE TIMES as much to shareholders as low-trust organizations
  • they earn FOUR TIMES the profits of their average competitors
  • 60% of the score of the “Top 100 Best Places to Work” competition hinge on how much employees trust peers, their boss, and management

Trust is worth investing in because it speeds up everything else.

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