‘Speed of trust’ can lead to profits or loss of business

There’s one element that can accelerate – or terminate – a relationship faster than anything else: that’s trust. According to Stephen M.R. Covey, a nationally-recognized business leadership advisor, most business owners don’t realize that trust is a real, fast and measurable factor that can effect their bottom line in a direct way.

“In business, the speed of trust is very important,” Covey told members of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin at the group’s annual meeting in March. “Our research shows that when trust is increased between two parties, business deals are sealed faster and profits often follow.

Though most people consider trust as something that deals with our social relationships, Covey says there are several myths about trust that business managers may want to know about. For example, the age-old perception is that ‘most people cannot be trusted.’ But Covey explains that ‘not trusting people’ is more risky when it comes to doing business.

“The ability to establish, grow, extend and restore trust with all stakeholders—such as customers, partners, investors or co-workers—is the key leadership competency of the new, global economy,” Covey said. “When trust is lost, costs go up; and visa-versa when trust is established, expenses will usually fall.”

But he was quick to point out that it’s not all about dollars and cents. Covey says people tend to work more efficiently, have happier employment conditions, and produce a better product when they feel they can trust their co-workers and managers.

On a farm operation, Covey says employes will often take more pride in their work when trust is bestowed upon them. And when workers earn that trust, it makes the managers more confident in their team, as well.

Covey is a graduate of Harvard University and author of the book, The Speed of Trust. He also played a key roll in propelling his father’s best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Dr. Stephen R. Covey.