This is a guest post by Bernd Nurnberger. The original on his blog – Community of practice and trust building
A few days ago I shared my crude model how we go from words to trust. I strung it along: word, definition, context, grammar, meaning, concept, understanding, salience, insight, trust, reputation. I believe each prior step must be present and perceived by both partners in an interaction before the next step gets good traction.
Being in the people business of establishing technical trust – as I am – is an interesting combination of challenges: engineering, salesmanship, diplomacy, organization and administration, combined with awareness for the needs of future users of what we test and certify, and the needs and expectations of society.
Seeking a competitive edge in this usually means working without a model, or just making one up and test it, see what sticks and build on that. We might see whether we get closer to the goal. That matters. Insight into what’s best comes with routine, where do we have that at the edge?
Trust is a non-negotiable essential in business. (via ingenesist blog) So, being in business is basically about trust. Establishing and verifying trust, documenting it, so it can be shared, swiflty, without every business partner having to redo what led to the trust.
To me, competitive edge is all about faster, yet secure trust building, towards more intense knowledge flows and learning from each other.
- open personal profiles (self-declaration)
- shared conversation, activity stream, searchable (enabling independent verification)
- recommendations, awards, certifications (independent third-party opinion)
- co-action, collaboration (co-creating work products)
- success , and sharing it (experiencing demand for work products, or admiration)
- Making excuses or blaming others.
- Jumping to conclusions without checking facts.
- Avoiding taking responsibility.
- Sending inconsistent or mixed signals.
- Acting more concerned about your own welfare than anything else.
Source: The Challenge Network Whom Do We Trust?
Out of self-preservation our minds are programmed to scan for suspicious signs to prevent having our trust betrayed, and if it happens, we almost automatically score the loss of trust. If it is about a product or an organization, we may drop it. If it is about people, we may react with deep emotion.
Losing trust is much faster than building it, which could be a reason for feeling that trust is eroding everywhere. What if this is a cognitive bias? What can we do to accelerate trust-building?
Image credit: Map of Online Communities , (CC) by D’Arcy Norman
German by birth, graduated electronics engineer, B2B salesman for electronic measurement equipment, some design and programming experience, product safety inspector, management system auditor, department builder, coach, seminar lecturer, collaborative learner.
follow Bernd on twitter @CoCreatr
Bernd; a splendid and timely article. Here is the original post where I pulled the trust builders
In Aviation and engineering, trust goes without saying because the consequences of failure are extreme. The larger concern for an engineer is to NOT trust oneself and therefore we are expected to seek peer review in our calculations. One who does not show their numbers is not to be trusted. It would seem that we would both be a bit hypersensitive to the notion that trust may be decaying around us the more we expose ourselves to “the wild” – I know this to be true for myself. I am astonished beyond belief of the marketing “profession” whose objective is to steal the thing that people love about their self and sell it back for the price of the product, but I digress.
In fact, I believe that competition leads to a propensity toward mis-information to stumble or delay an opponent. Also known as the “fake” in any sport. This is fine when defeating an opponent but when people are forced to compete with each other for a job or a raise, or a home. So trust/distrust is a consequence, not necessarily a cause. I don’t believe that it is the “first” problem that needs to be solved.
Systemized competition needs to be replaced with systemized cooperation. This is how we will move from a capitalism of scarcity to a capitalism of abundance while preserving the invisible hand of Capitalism that has in fact created unprecedented prosperity.
Trust will take care of itself when we learn to distrust ourselves and seek peer review.
Thank you, Dan, for adding another dimension to these views. Agree, FUD-based marketing seeding fear, uncertainty, and doubt about oneself is like a subliminal nagging critic, and just too many educated in the “old school” take it serious.
So, competition as an untrust builder, if I get you right is the first problem to be solved? We know where it basically comes from, real and lately artificial scarcity, and the fear of falling off the financial treadmill. Like schools, these are systems designed to do something, and they seem to work.
Peer review works great for engineering, science, business risk mitigation, and a few other domains. Although even peer review can be subverted, as in gaming medical studies. There goes some trust in a puff of statistical smokescreen.
This well written post about trust made me reflect. I may be a weird person but I find I start a reationship with full trust. I believe in the good of people, I know that stealing or lying to get something is the exception, actually a very rare exception countrary to what the newspaper would have us believe.
That said I do realize that interaction in a project can lead to different views and sometime some may find that they could get some unequal advantage from the result of the proposed work, but it usually stems from a bad identification of the goal at the start.
With time an internet scale of trust through participation might emerge, if it is needed, and that would be fine to quickly identify someone who we will lend our house to for a month but could be terribly unjust in marking a person as untrustworthy for a few “mistakes”. I for one have made my share of very stupid errors in life, but have learned from them.
My end point is, let’s work for the better of the world with like minded people knowing it will be good even if we may encounter “obstacles”.
Steven Pinker’s talk on humanity and war could be extended to the overwelming honesty of mankind in the present time and going forward.
Thank you, Bernard. As a naive English speaker (not native) compliments such as yours should make me blush. I also start relationships with trust. Not full, though, I take some time for exploration to build trust, and there are things in life I keep behind locks or zippers before I trust the trust is deserved and stable. With digital connections, especially twitter, I noticed after vetting a few dozen people I went to speed-reading profiles, tweets, and blog posts to decide what level of trust to extend. After all, it is hardly a risk, although stalkers can be some nuisance.
About the internet scale of trust, I am not so sure. I have seen computers and their programming get fairly smart since I started making one do things in 1979, but one-dimensional scores like Klout are baby steps all over again. I would want to vet the trust algorithm itself and the data set behind it. So I might as well engage with the person and find out my way, and enjoy the human connection, worked out with like minded people and therefore, earned. Coming to think about “like minded”, what exactly does this mean? “inclined to like” is just a weird interpretation coming to mind. I see it more as “following similar visions or values, holding similar truths to be self-evident.” Kind of a resonance.
Another great TED talk, thanks. The growing openness and honesty for me lead to faster trust-building. Lowers the need for barriers and safeguards. Learning to read digital traces is a new art of making virtual connections.
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