It's the foundation of every relationship we have. When we have it, everything can feel great. When it's chipped or broken, it can alter lives. But how do we achieve trust, and, more importantly, how can we keep it alive in relationships?
Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei recently underwent an assignment to restore trust to the employees of the much-maligned organisation Uber. She revealed what she learned about trust in a public speech, and much of what she says is as pertinent to individuals as it is to corporations. Watch her speech below, or read the highlights of the transcript here...
"There's three things about trust. If you sense that I
am being authentic, you are much more likely to trust me. If you
sense that I have real rigor in my logic, you are far more likely to trust
me. And if you believe that my empathy is directed towards you, you
are far more likely to trust me. When all three of these things are
working, we have great trust. But if any one of these three gets
shaky, if any one of these three wobbles, trust is threatened.
"So the most common wobble is empathy. The most common wobble is that people just don't believe that we're mostly in it for them, and they believe that we're too self-distracted. And it's no wonder. We are all so busy with so many demands on our time, it's easy to crowd out the time and space that empathy requires.
"So here's the prescription: identify where, when and to whom you are likely to offer your distraction. That should trace pretty perfectly to when, where and to whom you are likely to withhold your empathy. And if in those instances, we can come up with a trigger that gets us to look up, look at the people right in front of us, listen to them, deeply immerse ourselves in their perspectives, then we have a chance of having a sturdy leg of empathy. And if you do nothing else, please put away your cell phone. It is the largest distraction magnet yet to be made, and it is super difficult to create empathy and trust in its presence. That takes care of the empathy wobblers."