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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.
This month, we're again featuring our newest thin book as it is such an important addition to our series. In The Thin Book of® Trust, trust is defined as choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person's actions. Charles Feltman then breaks the concept of trust down into the four assessments of sincerity, reliability, competence and care. That means that instead of labeling someone as untrustworthy, you can dig deeper and define which of the 4 assessments you are struggling with.
Now you can read a sample chapter as we wait for the books to come off the press. Chapter 5, "Competence", can be summarized by the phrase, "I know I can do this. I don't know if I can do that." For example, you trust your doctor to prescribe medicine for you; you don't trust your doctor to cut your hair. Understanding that distinction can help you define what you trust others to do, to not do and why. This helps clarify trust because we don't generally label someone as untrustworthy just because we don't trust him or her to do something they shouldn't be expected to do.
Each of the four distinctions has a chapter devoted to explaining the distinction and giving concrete suggestions on how to build trust specifically in that area. For example, the first suggestion in the chapter is to make a list to clarify to yourself and others the areas you claim competence in. This can be a rather humbling exercise and it reminded me about my own journey of trying to understand the topic of trust.
I thought I understood trust, and did claim competence in the topic. Then I piloted the "How to Collaborate" workshop and 'covered' trust in about five minutes. The participants stopped me cold and I realized very quickly, that I had a lot to learn and certainly could not claim competence in the topic. If you wish to hear more about that, listen to our 20 minute podcast , "5 Critical Tips to Increase Trust at Work."The response to the webinar of the same name convinced me that we could use a good thin book on trust. One of the questions I hear from people all the time is "how do I say it?" So I thought the focus of this book should be on the language of trust. Because Charles has so much experience coaching others, he has done a wonderful job of giving you the 'scripts' and examples you will recognize.
For example, Chapter 7 is on confronting distrust. This is always a difficult conversation, yet a necessary one in any culture that cultivates trust. To help you prepare, the chapter lists six things to do before the conversation and then a template of five steps to the conversation. Charles also provides a sample conversation on how to address each of the four trust distinctions. This is a very helpful tool to help you prepare and have a constructive conversation and to get some resolution. As he puts it:
"Of course, real conversations rarely stay on script, and these examples are no exception. The point is if you've done the Six Things to do Before the Conversation, and you know where the script is going, and you can stay open to listening what the other person has to say, you will usually be able to get some resolution."
Getting to resolution through a constructive conversation is the goal of the book. I believe you will find that by the end of the book, you will be able to think of trust in a way that will enhance any relationship. I can't think of a better time to gain some competence in this area.
We also have great news. Once we finished the actual production of the book, we realized we could price it lower than we announced last month. Instead of a retail price of $12.95, it will be $9.95 a book. All orders processed before the end of the year, will be at an introductory price of $7.95. We're delighted to be able to offer this book at a lower price than we originally projected. Click here if you are ready to order.
Also, the book is printed on 100% recycled paper. Using recycled paper adds about 30% to the cost of the book. Yet, as we know change happens one person at a time: one light bulb, a book of recycled paper, 1% of our profits go back to the planet, it all adds up. As a client you help us do good, while we do good work.
If you have any questions about the book, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thanks for your interest and support.
Sue Annis Hammond