“The Speed of Trust”

I am nearing the end of the one-year peer group component of the Matthew 28 Initiative. Each month, pastors whose churches are currently in the process, get together and discuss a book. The latest book was The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey (son of Stephen R. Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).

The premise of the book is that trust can be developed. Covey writes …

Contrary to what most people believe, trust is not some soft, illusive quality that you either have or you don’t; rather, trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that you can create—much faster than you probably think possible. (2)

So, what is trust?

Simply put, trust means confidence. The opposite of trust—distrust—is suspicion. (5)

Trust is extremely important. Covey asserts, “Relationships of all kinds are built on and sustained by trust” (12). Covey also defines trust as “a function of two things: character and competence” (30). Character is shaped by integrity and intent, and competence is determined by capability and results. Covey calls these four components the “4 cores of credibility.”

We have integrity when what we say and what we do match. Our intent reveals our motives. Capability describes our skills and abilities. And results point to effectiveness, or fruit. Covey discusses each area and suggests steps to strengthen them.

In our group discussion, we realized that every experience involving lack of trust can be traced to one or more of these areas. Knowing this, it becomes a very helpful tool in pinpointing lack of trust in situations.

A significant portion of the book is devoted to the 13 behaviors that help build trust.

  1. Talk straight
  2. Demonstrate respect
  3. Create transparency
  4. Right wrongs
  5. Show loyalty
  6. Deliver results
  7. Get better
  8. Confront reality
  9. Clarify expectations
  10. Practice accountability
  11. Listen first
  12. Keep commitments
  13. Extend trust

I enjoyed The Speed of Trust. It’s worth a read for every leader, especially those who lead volunteer organizations (like churches)!

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