Shoot for Trust, Not Trustiness!

A recent post from one of my favorite writers and bloggers, Seth Godin, talks about “trustiness,” or the idea that simply sounding like you or your company has a commitment to trust is just as good as actually instilling a true ecosystem of trust.

It’s a bow to Stephen Colbert’s famous take on “truthiness,” or basically positing that a half-truth or something with the ring of truth to it is just as good as the actual truth.

Paying lip service to truth or trust will never replace the real deal.

“Institutions and relationships don’t work without trust,” Godin writes. “It’s not an accident that a gold standard in business is being able to do business on a handshake.

“Today, though, it’s easier than ever to build a facade of trust but not actually deliver.”

It’s almost a game not only of who do you trust, but also of who can you trust? More than ever, failing to read the fine print is the ultimate “gotcha!” that dissolves trust into trustiness.

A Vested business or outsourcing agreement cannot function without true collaboration, innovation and a shared vision: paying lip service to those concepts without doing the hard work of following through will probably mean a relationship that fails once the going gets tough. And a foundation of trust will build and sustain true collaboration and a shared vision.

As Godin says, “It’s incredibly difficult to build a civil society on the back of ‘read the fine print’…When we have to spend all our time watching our back and working with lawyers, it’s far more challenging to get anything done–and it makes building a business and a brand infinitely more difficult.”

Trust occurs quietly, when the corner that could have been cut is not cut. “Trustiness is what happens when you use trust as a PR tool.”

It’s a remarkable and fulfilling experience to see trust at work. On the other hand, as Godin writes, “trustiness once discovered leaves a bad taste for even your most valued customers.”

That’s because there’s no easy, splashy PR path to trust—it’s an investment that’s well worth the work and expense for the long-term payoff.

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