Tracking Trustworthiness

Tracking Trustworthiness - Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

In my last post, I talked about the distinction between trust and being trustworthy. Trustworthiness is a factor of four foundational elements: honesty, reliability, competence and care. While that may sound straightforward, the more important consideration is how to do you measure trustworthiness? My good friend and exceptional coach Dave Stitt created the Trustworthy Tracker to do just that.

The Trustworthy Tracker

Our trustworthiness is an assessment made by the people we interact with. We may believe we are trustworthy, but that doesn’t matter at all if nobody believes you. The Trustworthy Tracker gives you a tool to make your own assessment. As you can see below, Dave has described five levels of trustworthiness for each of the four factors. For example, under honesty, the highest level is ‘They tell the truth regardless of self-interest; I always get the full picture.’ The lowest level is ‘It’s clear to me they are obfuscating and deflecting to protect their self-interest.’ A big difference, don’t you agree?

Self-Assessment

The beauty of the Tracker is its simplicity. You pick which level you are at in each of the four columns. But before you go ahead and score yourself at level 5 in each column, you need to step back. You are not scoring the level you believe you are at. Instead, you are assessing how the people around you would score you. That is a very big difference.

To illustrate this, you might consider yourself reliable. You generally do what you say but like everyone you have a lot on your plate and some things don’t get done. It is no big deal, everyone is more optimistic about what they can do. That may be true, but is that how your coworkers see you? Really? Or are they occasionally frustrated that you don’t follow through?

The Tracker gives you a tool to critically assess your own level of trustworthiness and what you can do to increase it. Moving from one level to the next is as simple as adopting the next level behavior. Simple on paper, probably not so easy in practice.

Validation

Self-Assessment is a great place to start and once you are comfortable with the tool I encourage you to ask for feedback from the people around you. You can use it to have a discussion about what level they assess you at. This is something I only recommend when you feel you have a good level of trust with your coworkers. And you need to be very open and grateful for their feedback. Rather than question their rating, I encourage you to be curious, to ask for examples to understand why, what is it they observe about you?

Good luck and by asking for feedback, you are already increasing your trustworthiness.

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