Credibility + Reliability +
Credibility relates to our words and is revealed in our credentials and
Reliability relates to our actions and is revealed by keeping our
Intimacy relates to our emotions; people feel safe talking about difficult
Self-orientation relates to our caring and is revealed in our focus (us or
The TRUST Equation
A focus on the Client for the client’s sake, not just as a means to
one’s own ends.
A collaborative approach to relationships. A willingness to work
together, creating both joint goals and joint approaches to getting
A medium to long term relationship perspective, not a short-term
transactional focus. The most profitable relationships for both parties
are those where multiple transactions over time are assumed in the
approach to each transaction.
A habit of being transparent in all one’s dealings. Transparency
increases credibility, and lowers self-orientation, by a willingness to
keep no secrets.
The Four TRUST Principles
Don’t tell lies, or even exaggerate. Ever.
Love your topic.
Introduce your clients to each other.
When you don’t know, say so.
Credentials: don’t try too hard (eg letters after your
name on business card)
Relax, you know more than you think.
Do your homework on the client; make sure its up to
Don’t show off.
Make specific commitments around small things
Send meeting materials in advance
Make sure meetings have clear goals (not just
Liaise and negotiate, confirm
Don’t be intimidated, or use intimidation – it is always
compensating for something.
Business is about people, don’t fall for the ‘business is
Engage the person, be alert to their interests.
Repeat often: “Really, what happened next?” and
“Interesting, what’s behind that?”
A need to appear on top of things
A desire to look intelligent
Preoccupied with a long do-list
An inclination to jump to the solution
A need to win the argument, be right, be seen to be right
A desire to be seen to be adding value
Fears: of not knowing, not having an intelligent answer, of
A tendency to relate stories to themselves of their
A need to appear clever, witty
An inability to provide clear direct answers
An unwillingness to confess lack of knowledge
Tendency to want to have the last word
Closed questions early on
Treating the client as a source of data
Opposite of all previous
Asking the client what is behind a certain issue
Focus on defining the problem, not guessing the solution
Learning to tell the client’s story before we write our own
Adapt to the client’s culture re terminology, style, formats,
Resisting the clients invitation to offer a solution too early
Anticipate needs and respond
Dec. 4, 2021
Sep. 10, 2019
Nov. 26, 2018
Nov. 29, 2017
Apr. 13, 2017
Mar. 14, 2017
Jul. 30, 2016
Jul. 21, 2016
Mar. 15, 2016
Nov. 5, 2015
Jun. 17, 2015
Jun. 4, 2015
Apr. 13, 2015
Nov. 16, 2014
Jul. 25, 2014
Jul. 4, 2014
Jun. 7, 2014
Mar. 20, 2014
Aug. 23, 2013
Jul. 10, 2013
An overview of the TRUST Equation from the work of David Maister