I think it’s useful—if we want to build trust fast—to consider how we can extend trust in specific factors known to increase trust. Here’s a trust equation I’ve effectively used in leadership development programs to systemically explore how to intentionally create the conditions for trust.
T = C x C x C x (C +C)
Trust = Credibility x Connection x Commitment x (Customer focus + Co-creation)
Clearly articulating the value you bring; sharing knowledge in ways the other can understand and absorb; and creating value as a result of your expertise.
Identifying common ground; feeling related; helping the other feel safe to share thoughts and feelings.
Delivering what you said you would when you said you would; willing to give extra in the short-term to create a long-term relationship; demonstrating that you’re committed to successful win/win outcomes.
Showing you care about the other’s wants and needs; delivering what’s needed—not what’s easiest to give; being responsive and of service.
Acting as a partner; finding ways to work most effectively together; focused on how your efforts come together to provide value.
I consider customer focus and co-creation together. You can think of customer focus when considering customer relationships and co-creation when thinking about business partnerships. Yet, I think it’s useful, in the vast majority of cases, to consider customers as partners. Your work is coming together to create something. Internally, this mindset can be helpful in thinking bigger picture and staying
tuned in to what you’re creating as an organization. A focus on co-creation pulls us away from a transactional exchange that has less meaning.
I display the trust equation as a multiplication equation because when you increase one factor, such as connection, it amplifies the effect of another factor, such as credibility. When you talk about your shared goals (connection), then you can better see how your experience applies (credibility), and the other person can further trust you’ll bring your expertise to bear in the most effective ways