• joe@jhanderson.biz   
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  • In their book The Trusted Advisor, consultants David H. Maister, Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford present a formula, called the “trust quotient” for measuring trust between clients and co-workers. More above the formula on their website. The key part of the formula is a factor they call “self-orientation”. The higher your self-orientation appears to be, the less other people will trust you.

    There are concrete steps you can take to change the way you interact with others. But a good starting point is to notice how you interact with them now.

    Try It: Spend a week taking notes with curiosity on a few of the following questions:

    1. Do you ask questions already knowing the answer?
    2. Do you try to propose solutions rather than being sure you understand the problem?
    3. Are you inclined to assume you understand something (or at least make others think you do)?
    4. Do you start with your story, before you’ve heard the other person’s story?
    5. Do you multitask during conversations with others?
    6. Do you try to add value as soon as possible—before you’ve heard the other person out?
    7. If communications fail, are you inclined to hold others responsible rather than yourself?

    Treat this inquiry as a fact-finding mission, not an opportunity for self-criticism: you’re seeking to understand how others could perceive your self-orientation (and therefore your trustworthiness). Changes might come later, but right now you’re just investigating.

    Image: The Scream by Edvard Munch from Wikimedia Commons.