Trust: a true measure of integrity

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We have just completed a series of meetings which focussed on the review of our corporate vision and mission statements. One of the elements discussed which is absolutely central to our company vision is trust.

It is irrelevant how good we say, or believe we are, without a high level of trust embedded within our culture as well as the trust of our clients we simply cannot achieve our corporate mission(s).

Definition of trust

The Oxford dictionary defines trust as a  “firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.”

In a paper titled Guidelines for Measuring Trust in Organizations by Katie Delahaye Paine, the dimensions of trust are listed as competence, integrity, dependability/reliability, openness and honesty, vulnerability, concern for employees, identification, control mutuality, satisfaction and commitment.

Obviously these dimensions could be somewhat different if we were discussing trust within friendships or marriage.

Trust as a measuring stick

Anyone seeking representation or counsel from a professional should settle for nothing less than a trusted advisor. Trust within a business relationship takes time to develop.

I am currently representing a relatively new client, preparing a proposal for their building which will be submitted to a prospective occupier in competition with other brokered properties. Based on this client’s account of past experience, they have good reason to be skeptical about the integrity of commercial real estate brokerage.

They have asked if I mind if they fill in the final material elements of the proposal and submit directly to the potential user. I accept that it will take time to earn this clients trust.

Down the road, if after successfully completing a few assignments they are not 100 per cent satisfied with the integrity demonstrated then they owe it to themselves to move on and find representation that they can trust.

It needs to start within

An internal culture that is not rooted in trust will eventually struggle to survive and expand. The leadership of an organizations adherence to this core value will go a long way in establishing a safety anchor for the staff and a healthy foundation for a growth.

An old saying that I like but often get ribbed about, “the proof is in the pudding!”

Posted by Barry Stuart

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