Elements of trust that drive our philosophy

Elements of trust that drive our philosophy


Trusting others and developing trusting relationships are essential to the way we work and collaborate. Indeed, the level of trust in relationships at work, whether internal with employees or colleagues or external with customers and partners, is the single greatest determinant of success. While trust is built and earned over time, there are principles that will allow you to quickly create trusting relationships.

A prerequisite for trusting others is self-confidence. In order to relate to others, an essential aspect of leadership is knowing oneself and understanding others: behaviours, feelings, strengths and weaknesses, and how to address them. When a person knows himself and understands others, he can act."

In this sheet, we will introduce you to three models related to how to develop trust in relationships.

  1. The Trust Equation
  2. The Human Element by Will Schultz
  3. The 13 trusting behaviours - Stephen Covey

1. The Trust Equation

Do you know how long it takes to make a first impression on someone? 100,000 seconds, that's 27.5 hours! In 3 days, we form an opinion about our colleagues, managers, employees, customers...We ask ourselves the following questions about the person:

1- Can I trust him?

2- Can I respect him?

3- Is he/she reliable?

4- Does he have the skills?

This is why it is important to make a good impression, and the key is reliability. The challenge is to have a conceptual framework and an analytical way of assessing and understanding trust. Without this, there is no concrete way to improve our trustworthiness.

In 2000, Charles H. Green, author of three books on trust, highlighted the trust equation: a constructive and analytical model of trustworthiness that can be easily understood and used to help you and your organisation. Here is the equation:

The Trust Equation

  • Credibility is related to the words we say, we could say "I can trust what she says about intellectual property; she is very credible on the subject." Reliability is related to actions: "If he says he will deliver the product tomorrow, I trust him because he is reliable. "
  • Intimacy refers to the security we feel when we entrust something to someone. It is therefore the quality of the interpersonal relationship: "I can trust her with this information; she has never violated my confidentiality before and she would never embarrass me. " Self-orientation refers to the security we feel when we confide something to someone.
  • Self-orientation refers to the person's self-interest, focused on his or her own interest or the interest of others (collective interest). We might say: "I can't trust him on this deal, I don't feel he cares enough about me, he's focused on what he can get out of it for himself. "

When the value of the factors in the numerator (credibility, trustworthiness, intimacy) is high, the value of trust increases. A high value of the denominator (self-orientation), decreases the value of trust. Self-orientation is the most important variable in the trust equation. Indeed, to take the example of a sale, we will trust the salesperson more easily if we perceive that he/she is focused on our satisfaction. Good trust requires "good scores" on all four variables, i.e. high credibility, reliability and intimacy and low personal orientation.

The trust equation covers the most common meanings of trust. People rarely give up their trust in institutions, they trust others. While companies are often described as credible and trustworthy (the first two components of the trust equation), it is really the people within companies that make those companies what they are. And intimacy and self-orientation are almost entirely about the people.

2. Will Schultz's Human Element

The Leader has 6 levers at the organisational level to develop trust:

  1. Participation
  2. Accountability
  3. Transparency
  4. Recognition
  5. Reward
  6. Humanism

When the leader implements this climate, it acts on the deep feelings of individuals and stimulates the psychological springs of trust.

Individuals then develop attitudes and behaviours that are appropriate for trust with 6 levers at the individual level that respond to the 6 organisational levers put in place by the leader:

  1. Presence
  2. Personal determination
  3. Awareness
  4. Importance
  5. Competence
  6. Sympathy

The relationships are based on 6 relational levers favourable to trust and are marked by :

  1. Dynamism
  2. Maturity
  3. Honesty
  4. Valuation
  5. Cooperation
  6. Friendliness

So when confidence is high and fear is low, individuals function better because it allows them to achieve a positive sense of self-esteem. They can then:

  • Grow
  • Blossom
  • Perform

Here are more details in the table below.

When the leader develops a climate of trust…
So individuals develop attitudes and behaviours of…
And the relationships are marked by…
Partnering or doing things together
Be involved, be alive
Helps to energise people to achieve e the desired goal
Necessary to feel involved and collaborate
The individual invests his energy to fulfil his mission and feels simplified and involved
Empowerment (responsibility)
Empowering individuals and teams by giving them final decision-making authority
Determined, responsible
Allows you to act maturely in the relationship
Redistribution of power to individuals at all levels
The individual has the possibility to act and choose his own actions, and feels autonomous, free and responsible
Relationships without passivity, aggression or manipulation, but with interdependence
Need to train people to do this
Everyone is autonomous in his or her field and knows how to rely on others
Transparency - Openness
To have access to all information without any particular secret
Know your behaviours, feelings, strengths and weaknesses and how to overcome them
Take the initiative to open up to others despite doubts about the consequences
Create relationships where people feel less vulnerable and more honest
Understanding of others and one's relationships with others and the world
Knowing how to accept the other's reproaches
Exists when people feel that they exist in the eyes of others
The individual feels that he has value for others, and that his presence is significant
Have relationships that enrich people who then enjoy working together and find the energy to achieve the team's goals
Showing signs of encouragement, appreciation and satisfaction
Individual feels important
Knowing each individual; taking the time to discuss with each one: the relational quality of the leader. Knowing how to get together around a drink to celebrate an event
Reward (+ accountability)
Beyond the recognition, it is the reward given in exchange for the work
The feeling of knowing how to do it
When people seek to work together to find solutions to optimise each other's results
Can deal with situations, choose solutions to problems encountered
Consider the human being as the most important element
Sympathy towards himself
When people seek to work together to find solutions to optimise each other's results
Business and economy at the service of people
The individual feels appreciated for who he or she is as a human being (human and emotional dimension)
Individual as such that is and not only the professional aspect

Source: Humanis Performa © The Human Element by Will Schutz

Openness and transparency to others is the most important principle in developing trust. It is necessary to provide individuals with all the necessary information they need to work.

In order to speak truthfully with others, it is necessary to be truthful with oneself, to open up to oneself, that is, to know oneself, to understand oneself, to identify one's own deepest fears, and thus to grow.

3. The 13 Confidence Behaviors - Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey first specifies that credibility is a fundamental element in the development of self-confidence (which affects one's performance) and of the confidence granted by others. This credibility is based on points related to character (integrity, intention) and competence (ability, results).

It emphasises :

  • that what we do has far more impact than what we say in others' appreciation of who we are
  • and that these behaviours can be changed if there is a will to change.

He analyses the impact of 13 behaviours found in leaders we trust, and 13 behaviours common to leaders and highly trusted people around the world.

The 13 behaviours require a combination of character and skill. The first five are initially derived from character, the second five from skill, and the last three from an almost equal mix of character and skill.

5 Behaviors related to character traits:

  1. Speak frankly. Be clear and direct.
  2. Show respect.
  3. Create transparency. Let them know why and what upfront.
  4. Fix errors. Admit mistakes, do not justify them, and make amends.
  5. Show loyalty. Let them have 100% trust, and do not gossip.

5 behaviours related to competence:

6. Produce results. Do what you say you are going to do: always.

7. Improve. They will notice your improvements.

8. Face reality. You are the coach, not the buddy. Be honest.

9. Clarify expectations. Use exit contracts with new/veteran members.

10. Practice responsibility by being "accountable". This is a two-way street, not a one-way street.

3 behaviours related to character traits and competence:

11. Listen first. Use active listening. Get their perspective, not your own agenda.

12. Keep your promises. All your commitments. Learn and implement an organisational schedule.

13. Extend trust. Members make mistakes. Correct them, don't punish them. Show them that you trust them, and help them reclaim their power.