We’ve established…or at least Covey has, and my experience bears this out……that accelerating trust cuts cost and increases production.

When people trust us they take our suggestions, directions…..they buy from us because they buy us.

In yesterday’s blog we covered 5 of the 13 behaviors in ‘relationship trust’, those pertaining to character.


  1. Deliver Results. Define what you are going to do and do it.  Be specific about the numbers and the dates and deliver what you defined.
  2. Get Better I am still stunned, after 20+ years, that people do not practice…..work on their skills…….once people see you commit to and keep a diet, get better at presentations via practice, improve yourself, confidence in you being trustworthy soars.   Trusting your professionalism shows competence and they’ll believe in you so they will believe in your coaching.
  3. Confront Reality When there is a problem, get on it and don’t minimize or whitewash it.  Nothing will hurt trust faster than ignoring problems. Take these tough issues head on…..it inspires trust.  Cool head?  Yes.  But get after problems, don’t tell stories about how tough you had it and what you had to put up with ….like they are foolish and should toughen up.
  4. Clarify Expectations Get agreement upfront about the shared vision.  Never assume that the expectations on both parties is clear, make it so.   Let’s make a couple hundred calls….could mean….let’s both make a couple hundred calls…..let’s make a couple hundred calls total…..etc……Should be…..let’s make a couple hundred calls between us John.  I’ll make 110, how many are you going to make?  110.  Great….I will have mine done by Thursday…..when will yours be completed?  Once this is stated…..repeat and get agreement.  Now there is clarity between you and John, there’s agreement around specific expectations.
  5. Practice Accountability Leaders generate far more trust when accountability is a 2 way street.  Using the example I just gave…..don’t ask John how he is doing….suggest, before the calling starts…..”let’s check in with each other daily and tell each other what we did yesterday.”  When you get John on the phone, tell him what you did.  When he sees your willingness to be held accountable, trust accelerates.


The last 3 behaviors are a combination of competence and character.

  1. Listen First There is a significant difference between waiting for your turn to talk while thinking of what you are going to say while the other person is talking and actually listening.  Listen and ask, “May I paraphrase what I think you are saying to make certain I understand?”  Big points in the trust department but bigger points because it halts a knee-jerk reaction and you’ll learn….learning always equals earning in business. Don’t assume that what they are feeling is the same as others who ‘begin’ the same way…..so paraphrase what they said….and ask….”Is that what you mean?” ……with very little practice you become a listener and you’ll hear more and more often….’Yes, that is exactly what I mean’……now push yourself over the top by asking…..’is there anything else you can tell me about it or any other concerns you have?’
  2. Keep Commitments Counterfeit is vague…….like, Friday lunch sounds good but let me get back to you……breaking commitments is really bad.  Even if it is a non-profitable thing you’ve committed to and something profitable shows up….keep the commitment… this rare competence-character trait will seperate you from the pack because it’s so rare. You’ll shine.  It will also teach us something important…..think before committing in the future.  Keeping all commitments is symbolic of honor and how would being correctly perceived as a person of honor by your teammates you are coaching, the company you represent and prospects affect attaining your desire?   Family/friendship commitments are usually deemed a little more flexible, don’t fall for this trap.
  3. Extend Trust People make mistakes, you, me ….everyone.  Embrace it when a teammate makes a mistake, chat with the person privately then give them something that requires an even greater degree of trust.  One night a rising star in our group named Peter gave the big part of the presentation……and he messed it up….hotel meeting….100 people there.  We talked about it and he confessed while he had seen it dozens of times he did not practice…it showed.  We had a big Saturday Seminar coming up and I gave him the key spot ……extended trust in his ability……went to his home on Thursday and ASKED…..did not demand….if he wanted to do the 1 hour bit and have me critique it……he pulled out a cassette tape….he was already 1 step ahead.  What happened?  He nailed it and went on to be the best rep I had ever worked with….built a huge organization.  What happened?  By extending trust in Peter’s ability  after he made an error, Peter lived up to the trust we extended and surpassed it.  He was able to believe [trust] it was not him but his performance that needed work.

A lot of material to get over 4 days but I trust 🙂 I have given you something to think about.

Tieing this altogether for those of you building teams you can click here and grab a MP3 version with lots of examples of all 13 behaviors for free, of course.

Getting Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, is something you may want to consider…..it exploded our business because while we knew what to do and how to teach it, we discovered ways to increase trust.  That led to trusting teammates, lower cost and better production.


mark januszewski

world’s laziest networker

About the Author

  • All so true Mark…..so many of the items mentioned jumped out at me, but one in particular…..”Thinking” you’re prepared because you “know” the material and actually “practicing” the presentations are two very different things. You’ve definitely given me some “stuff” to think about!

  • Wow!…are you clairvoyant? I had a good bit of your message already in my head last evening when I was talking to a very nice gentlemen who wants to join our business…told him in general and some specifics what we are doing to learn, stay on mission and we need to make sure he has the tools and knowledge to do the same. Thank you again, Mark.

    Chuck Anderson

  • Mark you said it. The more you can clarify expectations, the better it will be. We all know what can happen when you assume things….:)

    Thanks Mark.


  • Very good info Mark. Trust is one of the most important things when building a business. Thanks for laying this out for us. I will be making a small investment to get The Speed of Trust.

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