"Being in business is basically about trust. Establishing and verifying trust, documenting it, so it can be shared, swiftly, without every business partner having to redo what led to the trust."
What I am slightly wary about here is the implication that trust can be passed around, like a parcel. I often find myself questioning the related notion that knowledge (content) can be passed around like a parcel, and I am wondering whether the same fallacy can be found in each of the five dimensions of VPEC-T.
Bernd also repeats some trust-builders and trust-destroyers that appear to originate in A Survey of Trust in the Workplace (pdf), carried out by Paul Bernthal of DDI.
Trust building behaviours:
- Communicates with me openly and honestly, without distorting any information.
- Shows confidence in my abilities by treating me as a skilled, competent associate.
- Keeps promises and commitments.
- Listens to and values what I say, even though he or she might not agree.
- Cooperates with me and looks for ways in which we can help each other.
Trust reducing behaviours:
- Acts more concerned about his or her own welfare than anything else.
- Sends mixed messages so that I never know where he or she stands.
- Avoids taking responsibility for action (“passes the buck” or “drops the ball”).
- Jumps to conclusions without checking the facts first.
- Makes excuses or blames others when things don’t work out (“finger-pointing”).
A commentary on this survey on the Challenge Network Forum (presumably by Oliver Sparrow) observes that fear appears to be a common factor of the trust destroyers.
"When you look over the trust-destroyers, that list sounds like the actions of people who are scared - scared of what might happen to them if they make mistakes in a company where mistakes are punished, rather than regarded as the occasional result of encouraging employees to take some initiative."
Again, I am wondering whether the same pattern of xxx-building and xxx-reducing behaviours applies to the other dimensions of VPEC-T.
There is another set of popular theories about trust, involving certain social activities (such as team-building exercises) that are supposed to promote trust. A quick internet search for "trust-building" will yield a large number of these exercises, together with companies that will happily take your money for running these exercises with you and your colleagues. Alternatively, why not just drip oxytocin into the air-conditioning?
See also Two Dimensions of Trust
Paul Bernthal, A Survey of Trust in the Workplace (pdf) (DDI, 1998)
Randy Borum, The Science of Interpersonal Trust (Mitre, 2010). Also available via Scribd.
Bernd Nurnberger, Community of practice and trust building (Feb 2012) - reposted by Venessa Miemis, 5 Trust Builders and 5 Trust Destroyers (March 2012)
Oliver Sparrow (?), Whom do we trust? (Challenge Network Forum, undated)