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What We're Reading
The Thin Book of® Trust: An Essential Primer for Building Trust at Work. By Charles Feltman, Thin Book Publishing, 2008.
It's not often that we release a new book. This one has been in the works for a few years and we are now in production and hope to have the book in our hands by Dec 15. It is in many ways a sequel to The Thin Book of® Naming Elephants because creating an environment where it is safe to speak up and name elephants, depends on trust. I truly did not understand the concept of trust until after the Naming Elephants book was completed and we were creating a workshop to answer the 'how' to build this type of environment. I spent over a year researching the topic and while I have created several products around the topic, I also felt a thin book would be helpful.
The author of this book, Charles Feltman, is a coach with many years of experience working with all kinds of people and organizations. For this reason, he's able to define trust in a way that I hope you will find useful. First he defines trust as choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person's actions. He then breaks the concept of trust down into 4 assessments. That means that instead of labeling someone as untrustworthy, you can dig deeper and define which of the 4 assessments you are struggling with. The 4 assessments are:
- "Sincerity - is the assessment that you are honest, that you say what you mean and mean what you say; you can be believed and taken seriously. It also means when you express an opinion it is valid, useful, and is backed up by sound thinking and evidence. Finally, it means that your actions will align with your words."
- "Reliability - is the assessment that you meet the commitments you make, that you keep your promises."
- "Competence - is the assessment that you have the ability to do what you are doing or propose to do. In the workplace this usually means the other person believes you have the requisite capacity, skill, knowledge, resources, and time to do a particular task or job."
- "Care - is the assessment that you have the other person's interests in mind as well as your own when you make decisions and take actions. Of the four assessments of trustworthiness, care is in some ways the most important for building lasting trust. When people believe you are only concerned with your self-interest and don't consider their interests as well, they may trust your sincerity, reliability and competence, but they will tend to limit their trust of you to specific situations or transactions. On the other hand, when people believe you hold their interest in mind, they will extend their trust more broadly to you." (page 12)
The goal of the book is to give you enough clear and concrete language to understand and address issues of trust at work and includes some sample scripts. As we've worked on it, my long-term colleague who designs the book and I had a continuous conversation about just how relevant the concept of trust is at this moment in time. While the book, like all thin books focuses on work in organizations, it is information and ideas useful in all areas of life.
I know there are other good, thick books out there on trust. However, we set out to create a book that would simply explain what is a very complex topic, that you can read in less than two hours, and have at least one 'ah hah' moment from the content. I think Charles has done that and done it well. We will have a sample chapter up on our website in approximately two weeks. In the meantime, consider his definition of trust and the people around you.
- Do you trust them in all four assessments?
- What are you willing to make vulnerable to others?
The book will retail at $12.95 but we will take pre-orders at a very special discounted price of $9.95. Your credit card will not be processed until the book ships. For those with an end of year budget ready to spend, this is a great investment for everyone in your organization and team. Quantity discounts are also available.
Like all our other books, The Thin Book of® Trust will be printed on recycled paper. We are committed to being environmentally conscious while we provide just in time cutting edge information to you, our valued customer. If you have any questions about the book, please contact me directly at email@example.com.
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Thanks for your interest and support.
Sue Annis Hammond