The Importance of Being Trustworthy

“What!” you say. “I’m already trustworthy!” Okay, I get it. You can keep a secret. Me, too.

But do you totally know your stuff? Do you always do what you say you’re going to do? Do people feel safe talking to you? Afterward, do they feel heard?

As it turns out, trust is about a lot more than secret keeping, according to Sandy Styer from Trusted Advisor Associates, who unpacked the four elements of trust and the “Trust Quotient” in her MYOB Conference presentation on Oct. 18.

Sandy said the level of trust in business relationships is a greater determinant of success than anything else, including content excellence.

As Sandy talked about the elements, which include credibility, reliability, intimacy and self orientation, I couldn’t help thinking of the wonderfully talented people I know that I cannot refer because they are so lacking in one or more of these areas.

When I refer someone, the person receiving the referral assumes they will have a similar experience with that person as they have had with me. If the person I referred doesn’t deliver, it damages my credibility, effectively reducing my trust quotient and potentially ruining a profitable relationship.

Who wants to risk that?

The moral of this story is that you want to work on becoming as trustworthy as humanly possible. Nobody is perfect, and we all fall down on occasion. But the goal should be to be as absolutely consistent as possible in all areas.

You can read more about trust temperaments, etc. on Take the Trust Quotient Quiz to get an idea of where you might improve.

I’ll leave you with this: If you are asking for, but not getting any referrals or endorsements from clients and/or friends, you need to look at these areas and figure out which one is causing them not to trust you, and you need to fix it — pronto. A low trust quotient will adversely affect your business (and your life) in ways you cannot see or even imagine.

Working to improve your trustworthiness can produce equally surprising results, as there is nothing that boosts a person’s credibility more than being known as a source of other great and trustworthy people. And there is no better feeling (at least not for me) than helping a colleague or friend grow their business. Be trustworthy!



  1. says

    Fantastic. Really.

    This is simple, brilliant and critical. Thanks for breaking it down.

    I, too, have known many colleagues who unknowingly struggle with this. At the end of the day, we’re only as good as our last impression and all we have is our reputation and ultimately, our integrity.

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