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  • Writer's pictureMark Slatin

The Trust Survey Results are In...But are They Accurate?

The Survey Results are In!

Last week, I asked the question, 'Which of the four variables do you believe has the biggest impact on your trustworthiness?'

As a reminder, the authors of The Trusted Advisor suggest trustworthiness consists of four objective variables:

👉 CREDIBILITY - has to do with the words we use "I can trust what he says"

👉 RELIABILITY - has to do with actions "I can trust she'll do it"

👉 INTIMACY - has to do with psychological safety "I can trust her with that information"

👉 SELF ORIENTATION - has to do with focus "I don't trust him, I don't think he has our best interest at heart"


The top vote-getter from my poll last week was RELIABILITY, at 45% followed by SELF ORIENTATION at 23%. But NEITHER of those variables were the top 2 for trustworthiness according to the study.

The authors predicted that SELF ORIENTATION would carry significantly more weight as a driver of trustworthiness than the other three variables, acknowledging the obvious inverse relationship that self orientation has to trustworthiness.It turns out that they were WRONG!

In fact, surprisingly,  INTIMACY (which received the lowest number of votes at 14%) turned out to be the highest correlated variable to trustworthiness in a study of over 12,000 respondents.

Here’s the paradox:

😀 The good news - intimacy skills, can be quickly taught and offer the best path forward for most organizations to make a real and sustained impact on the trustworthiness of their people.

😣 The bad news - most organizations, however, do little to develop the intimacy skills of their people—a missed opportunity.

Why do you think this paradox exists and what can be done about it?


If you’re looking to get executive buy-in for your CX practice, the next Trusted Guide Roadmap™ Master Class starts on Feb 27. Go here to find out more and to register 

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