About 6 months ago I was sitting with a friend and we were talking about relationship building and he said that the foundation of building relationships lies in the concept of trust and trustworthiness. He then mentioned an equation that measures trust and he called it the Trust Quotient. We were sitting in front of a white board and he put up an equation on the board to measure trust. The equation was:
T = R + C + I
T = Trustworthiness
R = Reliability
C = Credibility
I = Intimacy
S.O. = Self Orientation
The equation basically says, no matter how reliable, how credible and how well you can connect with people, if your self orientation is high your trust quotient will never be that high. Someone who is less credible, less reliable and less intimate can have a higher trust quotient if they are selfless and your are self absorbed. When you take some time to think about this it makes a ton of sense.
I went home that evening and did some research on the subject and found the source of the Trust Quotient, Charles Green. You can learn more about Charles Green and what his team is up to at www.TrustedAdvisor.com. There is so much amazing information in the world, and learning about these nuggets can make us so much more effective in our work.
The next time you think about an interaction you are having, are you communicating for your own self interest or are you there for the other person? If you are interested in instilling trust you might want to think about that question often, or at least until you retrain yourself to stop focusing on your own needs.