Respect Confidentiality | Fundamental #16

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“The only way to build trust professionally or personally is by being trustworthy.” -Gerard Arpey, CEO, American Airlines

Trust is such a slippery slope when we leave it in the hands of others.

When we do that we are setting ourselves up for misinterpretation and potentially a trust meltdown. Luckily, if we can embrace that trust is our accountability, we have the ability to build, create, and restore trust on our terms.

Whether we realize it or not, when we give our trust to others we are giving it based on our own interpretation of what trust means. We often don’t consider how others define trust.

Why is trust so important?

Trust impacts an organization’s economics.

In Momentum’s Annual Leadership Summit held recently, we addressed this very topic. We discussed how company’s that have high levels of trust produce sustainable revenue results, higher levels of employee productivity, and lower costs.

The trick is understanding how to measure trust especially since it’s so personal to us.

In the book, The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey, he identifies four Cores of Credibility that give us that measurement.

Integrity, Intention, Capability, and Results

We tend to measure a person’s character through their integrity and intention. We can measure a person’s competence through their capabilities and results produced. This gives us a formula for how we look for trust in others.

It includes both subjective and objective considerations. If we identify that one or more of these Cores of Credibility are missing, we have specific information that helps us know where to start restoring trust with that person.

In the business of executive coaching, one of our rules of engagement in working with our clients is to honor 100% confidentiality. This is crucial to the coaching relationship.

We serve as sounding boards, advocates, and partners for our clients. If they can’t trust us to hold their conversations confidentially, then we can’t fully succeed with any outcome. It’s like trying to finish a puzzle with missing pieces. It doesn’t work!

I have to admit…it’s an active promise and a big responsibility. I haven’t always been able to be vigilant with others’ confidential stories. I learned the hard way with friends who lost their trust in me during my younger years. Now I’m a vault!!

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”
-Albert Einstein

How do you hold confidentiality? How do you want others to honor your secrets? Be an example of trust and be aware of the outcome.

Trustfully yours,

Martha Lynn



Fundamental #16 | Respect Confidentiality

Honor the trust others give us. Be rigorous about keeping all information in confidence and be vigilant to safeguard it.

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