The Speed of Trust: Individual Credibility

The Speed of Trust appears from here to be broken down into Five Waves of trust; these waves move from the inner-most out. That is, it begins with changing yourself, then working out to the people you interact most often with, and continuing out to society at large:

  1. Self trust.
  2. Relationship trust.
  3. Organizational trust.
  4. Market trust.
  5. Societal trust.

An introduction to “Self Trust” came next; that topic itself is broken down into four main cores. Self Trust comes down to credibility – are you a credible person? Even though people will give a simple Yes or No, or could give an answer on a one to ten scale for this, the book argues that there are four aspects of credibility, and your achievement in each of the four cores can vary:

  1. Integrity. This relates to basic honesty, but goes further into having an understanding of your own values, and the courage to stand up for and live by your values when challenged.
  2. Intent. Are your motives and agendas (and the behavior they produce) guided by a genuine care for others, or do you operate in a self-centered way without regard to others? Imagine someone who was very honest, but had no deep concern at all for others. Even though such a person would never tell a lie, people can’t trust the person because they always have to guard themselves so as not to be taken advantage of.
  3. Capabilities. What are your talents, abilities, skills, knowledge, etc., that allow you to produce results? Again, imagine someone full of honesty and integrity, and always operating with the very best of intentions, yet utterly incompetent in any tasks they were given. Such a person, though possessing a wonderful character, would still not be trustworthy simply because of incapability.
  4. Results. Do you have a track record of accomplishing tasks? Do you work on the right thing, and see that right thing through till it’s done? Again, one can imagine a talented, fully capable individual full of integrity and the good intentions, yet they never seem to Get Things Done. Such a person’s credibility would certainly be in question.

It’s is interesting to hypothesize an individual who has any three of the four cores of credibility listed above, but severely lacking the last.

When an expert witness is called to testify in a trial, the supporting lawyer will try to establish before the jury these four aspects; if the opposing attorney can seriously undermine the expert in any one of these items then the witnesses credibility, and the expert’s influence on the entire trial, is severely effected.

The next sections of the book drill down on each of the four cores individually. I’m in the process of building a Prezi presentation to map the structure of the book and keep its outline straight in my mind.

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