The Speed of Trust | Stephen M.R. Covey

Summary of: The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything
By: Stephen M.R. Covey


Welcome to the summary of ‘The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything’ by Stephen M.R. Covey. This book explores the concept of trust and its impact on every aspect of our lives, from personal relationships to business transactions. It delves into the economics of trust, the importance of self-trust, and the core principles of credibility. Covey also provides insights into cultivating trust within relationships, addressing the distinctions between different stakeholders, and the process of restoring trust when it has been lost. By understanding and harnessing the power of trust, we can greatly enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and success of our personal and professional lives.

The Power of Trust

Trust is an essential component of our lives that affects our relationships, communication, and even the economy. It involves having confidence in someone’s abilities and facilitates good communication, making it beneficial for personal and business interactions. The economics of trust shows that lower trust results in increased costs and decreased speed, as seen in airport security after 9/11. In relationships experiencing waning trust, a trust tax is paid, while a high level of trust results in a trust dividend. Ultimately, trust must be added to the traditional economic formula of strategy x execution to achieve better outcomes. Distrust generates many problems that can be avoided with trust.

Cultivating Self-Trust

To earn the trust of others, it is essential to trust oneself. This is achieved by cultivating The Four Cores: Integrity, Intent, Capabilities, and Results.

The first core, Integrity, requires honesty, adhering to principles, and fulfilling commitments. A well-known example of Integrity is Andy Roddick, who displayed honesty in a tennis match by conceding that the ball was “in,” even though it meant losing the game. By committing to small tasks like waking up on time, one can improve their level of integrity.

The second core, Intent, involves positive behavior driven by a clear motive. Research reveals that NGOs are more trusted than politicians because NGOs are considered conscientious. To improve intent, one should analyze motives and ask honest questions.

The third core, Capabilities, focuses on developing skills that evoke confidence in oneself. Learning a new skill increases self-esteem, leading to a positive impact on other areas of life. It is essential to keep learning, keeping up with advances in one’s field and expanding knowledge in areas of interest.

The last core, Results, is about creating a track record of deeds committed to achieving the desired outcome. FedEx’s reputation for delivering packages overnight is one such example of Results that builds trust. By cultivating The Four Cores, one develops self-trust, which is vital in earning others’ trust.

Building Trust in Relationships

Behaving honestly, showing respect for others, and maintaining a balance in trust account can help build trust in relationships.

Trust forms the foundation of any relationship, be it personal or professional. To establish trust, it is crucial to behave in a trustworthy way. Charm and flattery may work in the short term, but they fail to create long-lasting relationships. So, how can you build trust?

The first step is to be honest and straightforward in your communication. Avoid omitting information, double-talking, or spinning stories. Such behavior erodes trust, whereas candor increases it. Being dishonest will establish a reputation that is guaranteed to tarnish all your relationships.

The second step is to show respect for others by demonstrating that you care. When people think you genuinely care about them, they are less likely to believe that you are trying to trick them. This, in turn, builds trust.

Showing that you care can be done in several ways, such as sending thank you notes, acknowledging the contributions of those around you, being generous with compliments, and avoiding speaking ill of others. But it is also important to maintain a balance. Overdoing it will backfire and strain your relationships.

A trust account analogy can help you understand whether you are building or destroying trust. When you behave in a trustworthy way, you make a “deposit,” while actions that erode trust make a “withdrawal.” Maintaining a positive balance means staying in credit. To achieve this, ask for feedback from others to gauge your behavior and identify areas for improvement. This way, you will be better equipped to receive and maintain trust in your relationships.

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