The TRUST Equation


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An overview of the TRUST Equation from the work of David Maister

Published in: Business, Technology

The TRUST Equation

  1. 1. Trustworthiness = Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy Self-orientation  Credibility relates to our words and is revealed in our credentials and honesty  Reliability relates to our actions and is revealed by keeping our promises  Intimacy relates to our emotions; people feel safe talking about difficult agendas  Self-orientation relates to our caring and is revealed in our focus (us or them?) The TRUST Equation
  2. 2.  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 there.  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
  3. 3. , 2 0 0 0 )  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 date.  Don’t show off.
  4. 4. , 2 0 0 0 )  Make specific commitments around small things  Send meeting materials in advance  Make sure meetings have clear goals (not just agendas)  Liaise and negotiate, confirm
  5. 5. , 2 0 0 0 )  Don’t be intimidated, or use intimidation – it is always compensating for something.  Business is about people, don’t fall for the ‘business is business’ mantra.  Engage the person, be alert to their interests.  Repeat often: “Really, what happened next?” and “Interesting, what’s behind that?”
  6. 6. , 2 0 0 0 )  Self-consciousness  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 being rejected
  7. 7. , 2 0 0 0 )  A tendency to relate stories to themselves of their experience  A need to appear clever, witty  An inability to provide clear direct answers  An unwillingness to confess lack of knowledge  Name dropping  Reciting qualifications  Tendency to want to have the last word  Closed questions early on  Passive listening  Treating the client as a source of data
  8. 8. s , 2 0 0 0 )  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, hours etc.  Resisting the clients invitation to offer a solution too early on  Be available  Anticipate needs and respond  Communicate  Communicate