Distrust translates into overhead

Trust is the recurring theme for successful selling, successful communicating and efficient organizations. This topic is well covered in Stephen M. R. Covey’s classic, The Speed of Trust. His essential point is that trust speeds up everything and reduces the cost of everything. Conversely, distrust slows things down and increases the cost of everything. If you look at your life, you will see that these assertions hold up well. In cases where you detest some process that wastes your time, you can usually find distrust as the root cause of your dissatisfaction.

  • If employers trusted employees to spend company money as if it were their own, they wouldn’t need spending limits, detailed expense reports with receipts, expense audits, and other administrative procedures on which companies spend money and employees waste time.
  • Our tax system is expensive for the government to administer because citizens are not trustworthy in paying their fair share. People cheat on their taxes because they don’t trust the government to fairly administer the tax system and spend their money wisely.
  • Have you gone through an airport security line recently?

I may not think these things are fair to me, but most of them are necessary because enough people are untrustworthy and will take advantage of situations if they are given the chance. Corporations, governments, and even families create costly mechanisms for us all to protect against the untrustworthy actions of a few.

If you want to reduce the overhead in communicating, the overhead in your business, or the overhead in your day to day activities, start with eliminating the sources of distrust. And, go read The Speed of Trust. It is worth the time.

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