The “Four Cores” of Building Trust
Posted by Kurt Earl in Public
Trust is critical. Without trust it is impossible to build a culture that drives the behaviors called for by your strategies for success. Building a great culture begins with building trust.
Ironically, most leaders do not have a clear definition of trust nor do they have a plan for building trust. In his book Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey defines trust by what he calls the “Four Cores.” Below is an explanation of the Four Cores from an article by Claire Lew.
- Integrity — This means being honest, walking the talk, and being congruent with what you believe. You can’t trust someone unless you believe they have integrity. When someone is assessing your integrity, they’re wondering, “Do you have values I align with? Are you a good person?”
- Intent — This is your agenda or mission. Your team must trust your intent before they can trust you. A person sizing up your intent will wonder, “Are you thinking about yourself, or others, in this situation? Do you have the short-term or the long-term in mind?”
- Capabilities — This is your talents, attitudes, skills, and knowledge. When someone is determining whether or not to trust you, they’ll consider, “Does this person have the expertise to do this job as well as they say they can?” Based on our survey, we found that both managers and employees question each others’ capabilities (26% of employees said this, and 36% of managers said this).
- Results — This is your track record, your performance. You can’t be trusted unless you’ve shown results in some way that you can be trusted to follow-through. When you ponder about a coworker, “What has this person done that proves I can trust her?” you’re seeking results.
Take two minutes right now to assess yourself on each of these Four Cores on a 0-2 scale. Give yourself a zero if you know this is an area you lack in and your team knows it too. Give yourself a 1 if you know you are strong in this area, but you haven’t yet been intentional about demonstrating this strength to your team. Give yourself a 2 if you are both strong in this area and your teams knows and experiences your strength.
For example, I would give myself a 2 in the category of Intent because we have worked very hard as a coaching staff to make it very clear who we are and what we are all about. On the other hand, I would give myself a 1 in results because as of right now I’ve experienced more success on the scoreboard as an offensive coordinator than as a head coach.
Use this self-assessment as a tool for further thinking and action. Do your best to avoid being too critical of yourself. The goal is to get better at building trust, not condemn yourself.