As a volunteer for the 7 Habits on the Inside Program in Colorado Prisons, I was very familiar with Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits program but was not familiar with the book The Speed of Trust, written by his son Stephen M.R. Covey. I was invited a few years ago to meet Stephen and hear him speak about The Speed of Trust and Franklin-Covey’s consulting practice, which Stephen leads, that helps companies implement the principles in the book. Trust is one of those intangible things we all know is really important, but most of us don’t have a concrete way to either measure or improve trust in our personal relationships or our businesses—The Speed of Trust is the roadmap to do exactly that.
Trust in the Context of Business
Covey says trust is crucial to the success of every organization and real trust is a skill that we can learn. When you think about your business, almost everything you do can be improved if there is real trust, and since trust directly impacts performance, it directly impacts profitability too.
“Distrust and suspicion tend to create more distrust and suspicion,” says Covey, “creating a vicious, downward spiral that we’re living in today.” But Covey believes we have choice, “There’s a better way to lead, there’s a better way to operate in today’s world, and it’s by leading with trust.”
Leading at the Speed of Trust
Organizational problems are hard to solve because most of them are people problems. Many of these issues have taken years to develop and are ingrained in every aspect of businesses. No matter how many leadership mandates, training programs, restructuring exercises and procedural updates are done, eradicating problems is difficult. Instead, Covey suggests problems must be addressed at grass roots level because ultimately business is about people. Real people need real solutions and have real feelings. And since trust drives business performance, a lack of trust can destroy productivity and even destroy the business, even if you have a great product.
The Speed of Trust Transformation Process™ begins with the individual and spreads to teams and gradually creates a culture of trust that will permeate every aspect of your business. And since a culture of trust directly impacts performance, you are creating an environment where people flourish. When you create a team of high performing individuals you will quickly see how the positive energy spreads, including to customers. This new company culture, energized by trust, will give your business the ultimate, long-term competitive advantage it needs to prosper. In tough times, like COIVD, trust is even more crucial to success.
And how do you do it?
The book is loaded with detail on the process to improve trust, but one of the keys to improving trust and creating “trust-based relationships” is exhibiting more trust-based behaviors. The book discusses thirteen of these behaviors including:
Behavior #1: Talk Straight
Behavior #2: Demonstrate Respect
Behavior #3: Create Transparency
Behavior #4: Right Wrongs
Behavior #5: Show Loyalty
Behavior #6: Deliver Results
Behavior #7: Get Better
Behavior #8: Confront Reality
Behavior #9: Clarify Expectations
Behavior #10: Practice Accountability
Behavior #11: Listen First
Behavior #12: Keep Commitments
Behavior #13: Extend Trust
It has been proven that teams who have a solid level of trust work better together, solve problems and take comfort in the support they feel from being part of the group. As trust rises, fears fade and productivity goes way up because people realize their teammates actually have their back and teamwork is the only way to tackle their job.
Covey make’s it simply by saying “Caring gives us more trust, which leads to better financial outcomes. And it is a better way to live. It is both the right thing to do and it’s the economic thing to do. Caring is the root of the intent that builds credibility and trust, and out of that grows both better performance outcomes, and a better world.”
I highly recommend the book The Speed of Trust, check it out on Amazon and check out The Speed of Trust programs at Franklin-Covey at https://www.franklincovey.com/solutions/trust
About Stephen R. Covey
Stephen M. R. Covey is a New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The SPEED of Trust—The One Thing That Changes Everything. He is the former CEO of Covey Leadership Center, which, under his stewardship, became the largest leadership development company in the world. Stephen personally led the strategy that propelled his father’s book to become one of the two most influential business books of the 20th Century.