Archive

Archive for the ‘TAP INTO TRUST’ Category

Apr
23

What makes trust such a complicated subject?

Could it be the simple fact that most conversations that claim to focus on trust are really about something else?

A few weeks ago I listened to three podcasts with “trust” in the title. Two of the guests (not the hosts) were members of our Trust Alliance, while the third was the host, an individual with expertise in both ethics and trust. What could be better than three subject matter expert podcasts in one week about trust?

Throughout these discussions I found myself questioning whether the word “trust” itself was being misused. I was also confused by how the words trust, trusting, trusted and trustworthy were being used interchangeably when they have very different meanings. Bottom line, the podcasts may have had trust in their titles, but the conversations were not about trust, at least not in the way I have come to understand it.

One focused primarily on customer loyalty (some mistakenly call that brand trust), the second was a reputation conversation (trust and reputation are not the same) and the third was about building ethical products that consumers can rely upon. Again, not trust so much as reliability. Yes, trust has certainly become  a “hot” topic, but using the word as a “sexy” placeholder is not only misleading but also adds to the confusion of what trust is and what it is not.

Before we go further let’s look a bit closer at trust and it’s relationship to trustworthiness:

Trust: I explain it in this five minute video with Shona Elliott as an OUTCOME of principled behavior. It’s ALWAYS interpersonal. I have trust in you because you act in a competent, respectful, transparent and accountable manner. You will find me trustworthy for the same reasons. I don’t have trust in Costco, nor do I have trust in AI. I might be a loyal Costco shopper and I might rely on AI to be ethical, but I cannot trust something that is not a “someone.”

In the words of Charles H. Green, a member of both our Trust Alliance and Trust Council “the right way to think about trust is that it is all driven and experienced at the personal level: the role of the organization is to help those personal experiences become trust-positive.”

Organizations don’t build trust, they can only facilitate or hinder interpersonal trust. It’s up to the people who work for them to build the trust, and to be effective, leadership must carry the flag. A trust-based organization is one in which people behave in a trusting and trustworthy manner towards each other, and towards all stakeholders. At the organizational level if trust is not a function of leadership, any trust-building initiatives will be ineffective. Trust is built over time and in incremental steps through principled behavior that benefits all stakeholders, both internal and external. Organizational trust-building is most effective when it begins with its most valuable stakeholders, the employees.

Trustworthiness: Also an outcome. A person can be called trustworthy if they display principled behavior as described above. Trustworthiness can also apply to companies and brands based on attributes, not behaviors.

  • Trustworthiness at the corporate level: attributes like good governance, ethical accounting practices and financial stability enhance the reputation of the organization.
  • Trustworthiness at the brand level: attributes like quality, price, features, availability and customer service build customer loyalty.

So how can we alleviate the confusion about what trust is and what it is not.

It’s pretty simple. Make sure everyone understands and agrees on the discussion topic up front, and then be very deliberate about using the right words. Every conversation and every article about trust should begin with this question. What’s trust got to do with it? And if we are in fact talking about trust, let’s start the conversation by putting it in context.

A few examples of how to do this:

  • A podcast about the Edelman Trust Barometer findings that “trust in business leaders is up.”

To put this discussion in context the people engaged in it should address the question of “Trust in business leaders to do what?” Treat their employees well, take a stand on social issues, protect their shareholders, care about the environment? Then we can have a conversation about trust within the chosen specific context.

  • An article about recent data showing that less than half of Americans trust pharmaceutical companies.

Again, one must ask “Trust pharmaceutical companies to do what?” Have good customer service, develop products that improve rather than worsen health, pay less fines than last year, or treat their shareholders well? Identify the discussion topics early and then stick with them.

If trust is always put in its proper context the cloud of confusion begins to lift and the discussion becomes much more understandable and worthwhile.

You may also start to notice how often trust is used as a placeholder for something else, usually it’s reputation and often perception of trust, not trust itself. While I was writing this article I came across this “poster child” for a misleading trust statement from a new article on Forbes, written by a Forbes “Council” member. I see examples of poor usage of the word “trust” almost daily.

The simple truth is that people buy from brands and products they trust, and the ultimate objective of a content strategy is to create a trusted brand or product.

That’s actually not the “simple” truth at all as people often buy brands for reasons like convenience, price and even a coupon, or as an impulse purchase.  And notice how the author uses both the word “trust” and the word “trusted in the same sentence. Which one is it? And, by the way, content strategy doesn’t create a trusted brand, only people can do that. Sorry, this author’s statement, and many others like it, are meaningless and just add to the “noise” and trust confusion.

Trust discussions can be simple or complicated. It all depends on whether time is taken to clarify what, if anything, trust “has to do with it.” Try it next time trust enters your conversation.

Please visit Trust Across America-Trust Around the World to find out more about our work and our growing global community.

Don’t forget to check out our latest (and coolest) tool, The “Art” of Trust.

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

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Apr
20

What role does ACCOUNTABILITY play in building trust in your workplace?

A BIG one.

 

Accountability is the second of *12 behaviors in our Tap Into Trust (TAP) framework having now been accessed over 150,000 times in 16 languages. 

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World created The “Art” of Trust visual “cues” to start a discussion about behaviors in the workplace that build and weaken trust. Together these cues form a “Wall” of Trust, telling a story to enhance learning and retention.

 

 

In the context of a team, we define Accountability as follows:

We hold one another accountable –

we each take responsibility without regard to level or role.

Over 600 survey respondents identified accountability as the top behavior weakening trust in their workplace (over 43%). If accountability is lacking on your team how do you begin to address it? These are two discussion questions our Trust Alliance members suggest to improve trust.

  1. Do we hold people accountable in a principle-centered rather than punitive way?  If not, how do we change this?
  2. Do our accountability discussions demonstrate that we are on the same team?  If not, how can we help team members take collective responsibility?

The “Art” of Trust  is one of many resources designed for this year’s Trust Action Project to help leaders, teams and organizations move from trust talk to ACTION in 2021 and beyond.

Would you like to build a Wall of Trust for your team? Take the first step.

 

 

What behaviors weaken trust in your workplace? Our 1 minute/1 question AIM Workplace Diagnostic compares your response to more than 600 others.

Join our global Trust Alliance and participate in our programs.

Learn more about the Trust Action Project 2021 at this link.

*TAP INTO TRUST is an acronym. The 12 behaviors are equally weighted. The weakest behaviors break the trust chain.

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

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Apr
13

Copyright 2021 Next Decade, Inc.

 

What role does TRUTH play in the core values and culture of your workplace?

Truth is the first of *12 behaviors in our Tap Into Trust (TAP) framework having now been accessed over 150,000 times in 16 languages. 

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World created these visual “cues” to start a discussion about behaviors in the workplace that build and weaken trust. Together these cues form a “Wall” of Trust, telling a story to enhance learning and retention.

 

 

 

 

 

In the context of a team, we define Truth as follows:

 We are honest & humble. We put the truth ahead of personal or professional gain.

If truth is lacking on your team how do you begin to address it? These are two questions our Trust Alliance members suggest to foster a discussion and improve trust.

  1. Does our organization tolerate or even encourage “white lies” to avoid conflict and produce results? If so, how can we safely bring that out in the open and change it?
  2. Do we put down people who willingly share their truth? If so, how do we create a forum that invites appropriate candor?

 

The “Art” of Trust  is one of many resources designed during our Trust Action Project 2021 to help leaders, teams and organizations move from trust talk to ACTION in 2021 and beyond. Build a “Wall” of Trust for your team as the first step down the road to trust.

What behaviors do you think impact trust the MOST in teams and organizations? Our 1 minute/1 question AIM Workplace Diagnostic compares your response to more than 600 others.

Join our global Trust Alliance and participate in our programs.

Would you like more information about how to purchase The “Art” of Trust? Let us know.

Learn more about the Trust Action Project 2021 at this link.

 

*TAP INTO TRUST is an acronym. The 12 behaviors are equally weighted. The weakest behaviors break the trust chain.

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

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Apr
06

The Trust Action Project 2021 (#tap2021) “Art” of Trust  is one of many resources designed to help leaders, teams and organizations move from trust talk to ACTION in 2021 and beyond.

Start a trust discussion and enhance learning and retention with the visual cues that will be presented each week for the next 12 weeks. Be one of the first to build a “Wall” of Trust.

 

 

The 12 behaviors of our popular Tap Into Trust (TAP) framework, comprise the “Art” of Trust. TAP has been accessed over 150,000 times.

What behaviors do you think impact trust the most in teams and organizations? Our 1 minute/1 question AIM Workplace Diagnostic compares your response to more than 600 others.

Join our global Trust Alliance and participate in our programs.

Would you like more information about how to purchase The “Art” of Trust? Let us know.

Learn more about the Trust Action Project 2021 at this link.

 

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Mar
21

The Trust Action Project 2021 (#tap2021) Weekly Action is one of many Trust Alliance resources designed to help leaders, teams and organizations move from trust talk to ACTION in 2021 and beyond.

 

 

What behaviors do you think impact trust the most in teams and organizations? Our 1 minute/1 question AIM Workplace Diagnostic compares your response to more than 600 others.

Learn more about the Trust Action Project 2021 at this link.

Join our global Trust Alliance and participate in our programs.

What trust building ACTION would you suggest? Let us know.

 

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Feb
23

A few years ago John Baldoni, one of our long-time Trust Alliance members gave me the following advice. He said “Barbara stop trying to change the world. Focus on one person and one organization at a time.”

With that advice in mind, today we celebrate a milestone. In less than three years, over 150,000 global citizens have Tapped Into Trust to access our Trust Alliance Principles (TAP), available at no cost in 16 languages. This would never have been possible without the support of our global Trust Alliance members who continue to work collaboratively to develop and promote these universal principles that can be applied to any organization or team of any size.

From these principles grew a simple one question/one minute ongoing master Workplace Trust survey that has now been taken almost 600 times, followed by our AIM diagnostics and the online and in person workshops designed to start a trust discussion, and directly address the weaknesses that are keeping trust from flourishing.

 

 

Trust is always the outcome of principled leadership. If you are an ethical leader who is unwilling to commit to learning more about the impact trust has on your organization’s culture and ultimate success, you are contributing to long-term enterprise risk. (And hiring a motivational speaker to “talk trust” with your employees is not the solution.)

Thank you to all who made this milestone possible. Your ongoing commitment to building trust is getting it done, one person and one organization at a time. Thanks John!

Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO and Founder, Trust Across America-Trust Around the World.

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Feb
21

The Trust Action Project 2021 (#tap2021) Weekly Action is one of many Trust Alliance resources designed to help leaders, teams and organizations move beyond trust talk to ACTION in 2021.

Learn more about the Trust Action Project 2021 at this link.

What’s weakening trust on your team or in your organization? Take our 1 minute/1 question AIM workplace survey.

Join our global Trust Alliance and participate in our programs.

How would you like to get involved? Let us know.

 

 

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

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Jan
12

TRUST: Can you answer these questions?

What is trust?

What is the business case for trust?

Can trust be assessed and measured?

How can leaders and teams elevate trust?

What weakens workplace trust the most? Find out in 1 minute and compare your workplace to hundreds of others.

 

Our global team of vetted professionals has the expertise to address trust from the boardroom to the shop floor, and with external stakeholders including customers, suppliers and regulators. We collaboratively spent over a year creating a simple and effective tool to start a trust discussion. In fact, our principles (TAP) have been accessed almost 150,000 times.

Trust Across America-Trust Around the World is the leading global program focused exclusively on helping organizations build trust. While trust “talk” is abundant, ACTION is what’s needed most.

Let’s talk.

Copyright 2021, Next Decade, Inc.

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Oct
27

Have you watched the news lately? I tuned in yesterday for the first time in over two months, which prompted me to write this article.

If you are currently residing in the US there is a good chance that you are choosing to get your news from either Fox or CNN, depending on your political views. From a trust perspective, does it matter at all which one you watch?

 

 

The world’s citizens are suffering not only from 2020 COVID 19 fatigue, but also from the long-term fallout of a host of never ending global trust breaches in government and business. Unfortunately for all of us, the news does not appear to be improving, at least not what’s being reported. Since panic agendas seem to matter more to the media than facts, should we believe what is being reported? In other words, can the media be trusted?

I decided to put the industry to the test using our universal TAP Principles. They have now been accessed by almost 150,000 global professionals. Why don’t you do the same to determine if you should trust the media?

 

Take a minute to answer “Yes” or “No” to each of these questions:

Truth– Is telling the truth more important to the media than a panic agenda or monetary gain?

Accountability– Is the media holding itself accountable and taking responsibility regardless of affiliation?

Purpose– Is the media engaging others to build shared purpose to avoid short-term wins?

Integrity– Is the media committed to accuracy in pursuit of the facts?

Notice- Is the media seeking out, listening to and reporting on diverse perspectives?

Talent– Is the media rewarding moral character?

Openness– Is the media open and ready to learn?

Transparency– Is the media rejecting hidden agendas?

Respect– Is the media respectful of each other?

Understanding– Does the media not only celebrate its successes but also report on its failures?

Safety- Does the media call out all unethical behavior and make it safe to be honest?

Tracking– Does the media scorecard their performance against their values?

 

What was your final “Yes” and “No” answer count?

Can you think of any news media that would score a passing grade of 60% or more?

Should we trust the media to report COVID 19 information accurately, or any news for that matter?

And before you go, substitute the word “media” for “government” and then “business” and see if your results change.

Can our trust deficit be fixed? Given the right tools it’s not difficult. Whether it’s the media, government or business, it always begins with leadership, and that remains the greatest challenge, and the biggest opportunity.

 

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its 12th year, the program has developed two proprietary trust-evaluation tools, the latest is AIM Towards Trust. She also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series. Kimmel is a former consultant to McKinsey who has worked across multiple industries and with senior leadership. She holds a bachelor’s in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch.

Copyright © 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

 

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Aug
25

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”  Benjamin Franklin

“Say you’re sorry.” As a child, how often did you hear those words from parents and teachers? While apologies become even more “complex” in adulthood, have you stopped to consider the role they play in trust repair?  This week, as part of our Zoom Lunch & Learn series seven members of our Trust Alliance convened to discuss the topic of apologies in a session called “I’m sorry…but.”

Prior to meeting, I provided the group with the following insights shared by one of our members:  
It’s been almost four decades since Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol crisis, and public affairs professionals have been fixated on the “apologize” model.  Whenever a company is attacked, they recommend that trust can be rebuilt only by an immediate apology. Yet there have been critics of this approach, most notably renowned crisis manager Eric Dezenhall.  In his 2007 book Damage Control, subtitled “What Everything You Know About Crisis Management is Wrong,” Dezenhall argues that not all situations are the same, that not all apologies are the same, and that the costs and benefits of the apology must be carefully evaluated.
Through the lens of trust, the apology plays a particularly important role, which may be to restore, build or further undermine trust. The apology is no panacea that fixes broken trust; at best, it is one step in an ongoing process.  

Our discussion extended beyond apologies at the organizational or corporate level. We reviewed interpersonal apologies as well.

The following are some of the key take aways:

  • The purpose of an apology is to repair a damaged relationship, whether it is between two people or at the leadership/ corporate level, and there must be a desire to do so.
  • Apologies must have a unifying quality with no “conditions” or “buts.”
  • Authentic apologies must contain an acknowledgement of harm and a commitment to a behavioral change. (Example: A husband is caught cheating on his wife. The apology must go beyond, “I’m sorry for hurting you” to “I promise you I will never do it again.”)
  • Apologies should not be confused with taking responsibility. (Example: Johnson & Johnson followed their credo and took responsibility after the Tylenol crisis. They did not apologize.)
  • Victims need validation more than an apology.
  • Apologies are words. Trust is built through actions. A plan must be announced with specifics. Simply saying we “hope to regain your trust” is worthless.
  • Trust can be built only after lasting changes have been made. Remember, actions always speak louder than words.
  • Ethical actions not only reduce the need for apologies, they also raise awareness of the benefits of principled behavior. Incivility, sarcasm and humiliation have no place in relationships inside or outside the office. In fact, they are breeding grounds for reducing trust and increasing the odds of a crisis.
  • Consider what is happening in the relationship that creates the need for an apology. What internal changes should be made to modify the dynamic and prevent future crises? Without an internal culture of responsibility and accountability, there WILL be crises and regardless of whether or not an apology is given, there will not be a change in behavior to correct things.

A few additional thoughts the intersection of apologies and trust for leaders and organizations facing a crisis:

  • While most companies have a mission or vision “statement”, quarterly reviews based on financial returns still rule the day. This creates the perfect storm for a crisis. Leaders then delegate the apology and trust repair “fix” to their corporate communications/PR team, instead of taking ownership. Wells Fargo is the poster child for this approach which fails every time.
  • Most business leaders are unaware of the independent variables or behaviors that create trust. If they don’t defer to PR, they defer to “legal” who are trained in risk, not trust.
  • Spontaneous conversations about reputation rarely occur until reputation is in the ditch. Reputation management, like crisis management, like employee engagement are really PR terms rather than management terms. That’s why they’re not seriously a part of management’s vocabulary. Trust is a management word. Integrity is a management word. Civility and decency aren’t really management words.
  • One of my favorite questions in these circumstances is,” what would your mother’s say if they were in the room right now, after they slapped you in the head and told you that you were not the kid they raised.”
  • An attack on trust/a crisis means that the organization performed below expectations of at least one of its stakeholders. An organization can have a crisis with one stakeholder that does not impact others. For example, HP had a governance issue that caused it to apologize to investors with plans for how it would be avoided in the future, but it did not register with customers.
In conclusion, consider this:
Individuals, leaders and trustworthy organizations who are in the enviable position of having built trust over time, will be more easily forgiven for what may be viewed as a genuine or unavoidable mistake instead of an ethical lapse. This not only increases the chances of surviving future crises, it prevents the majority of those crises from happening at all.
For more information on how to assess the level of trust in your organization and reduce those apology “moments” Tap into Trust and access our simple survey tools.
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To participate in future Lunch & Learns, apply to join our vetted Trust Alliance.
Thank you to Bart Alexander, David Belden, Lea Brovedani, Charles Feltman, Nadine Hack, Jim Lukaszewski and Elliot Schreiber for your insights. Until next time!
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Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Now in its 12th year, the program has developed two proprietary trust-evaluation tools, the latest is AIM Towards Trust. She also runs the world largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award-winning TRUST INC. book series. Kimmel is a former consultant to McKinsey who has worked across multiple industries and with senior leadership. She holds a bachelor’s in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MBA from Baruch.

 

 

Copyright © 2020, Next Decade, Inc.

 

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