Book Review: Speed of TrustPosted on June 30th, 2008 by Paul McArdle – 11 Comments
I have cheated with the post date here, as I read this book quite a while ago now (and I want to put this in the context of the other materials on the blog).
This book can provide value to pretty much everyone – in a personal, social and business context.
In reading this book, I found it so good I ended up buying a number of copies, and giving a copy to each of our employees.
Can’t get a much better endorsement than that!
What we thought
|“Speed of Trust”
by Stephen M R Covey
Read it quick!
|Full Disclosure – yes, that’s a tracked link to Amazon shown above. We buy quite a large number of books on a wide range of topics, all relevant to our business in some way. If you did happen to purchase the book from Amazon, they’d throw a few shekels our way, which would help us to buy (and hence publish reviews of) even more books. Hence, Karma would return the benefits to you…|
This is an excellent book – it provides a simple framework through which everyone should be able to understand what is (surprisingly uncommon) “common sense”.
Very useful for us, in our business (and, I hope, useful to all our employees – wherever their life should lead them in future).
Trust is the most important thing
Having been burnt before on a couple of occasions, I have worked this out the hard way, but never really expressed this as clearly as does the author (even to myself).
As the author notes:
Trust means confidence. The opposite of trust – distrust – is suspicion
In an environment of trust, everything becomes much easier to do, and hence quicker – giving rise to the title of the book. In an economy which is growing ever faster, then, it stands to reason that trust should underpin everything we do.
The 4 Core Elements of Trust
The author begins the book by identifying the four core elements that work together to determine whether an individual (or a company) could be considered as trustworthy.
These are introduced in the following table (rather than try to paraphrase the message, I have copied the overview provided for each by the author (p54-55 in my copy) – who does a much better job than I could hope to):
|Integrity||This is what most people think of when they think of trust. To many “integrity” basically means honesty. While integrity includes honesty, it’s much more (emphasis added):
1) It’s integratedness
2) It’s “Walking your Talk”
3) It’s being congruent, inside and out.
4) It’s having the courage to act in accordance with your values and beliefs Interestingly, most massive violations of trust are violations of integrity.
|Intent||This has to do with:
1) Our motives,
2) Our agenda,
3) Our resulting behaviour. Trust grows when our motives are straightforward and based on mutual benefit – in other words, when we genuinely care not only for ourselves, but also for the people we interact with, lead, or serve.
|Capabilities||These are the abilities we have that inspire confidence – our talents, attitudes, skills, knowledge, and style.
They are the means we use to produce results.Capabilities also deal with our ability to establish, grow, extend and restore trust.
|Results||This refers to our track record, our performance, our getting the right things done.
If we don’t accomplish what we are expected to do, it diminishes our credibility. On the other hand, when we achieve the results we promised, we establish a positive reputation of performing, or being a producer … and our reputation precedes us.
The first two (Integrity and Intent) are matters of character – whilst the last two (Capabilities and Results) are matters of competence.
All 4 elements need to be present for a trusting relationship to form, and to be maintained.
A wealth of Further Information
The above material forms the foundation for the book, and is covered in the the first 15% of the book.
The remainder (which I won’t go into here) goes into meticulous detail about what you can do to improve the trust placed in you by the people around you (your partner, your family, your co-workers, your boss, your friends, etc… ).
It’s not a “quick fix” book, and it takes some dedication to implement – but if you want sustained improvement, you must be prepared to do the groundwork.
Buy the book!