<p>Trust can save a lot of time. Much of life is spent either checking those we don’t trust, or being checked upon by those who don’t trust us. The term ‘audit society’ has been used to describe our world of constant checking - from our reliance on lawyers, auditors, and inspectors through to heavy bureaucracies and down to adding up our restaurant bills. Being trustworthy and having people you can trust can save more time than being a good time manager. This articles looks at ways trust saves time. </p>
<img src="/sites/default/files/Trust Saves Time.jpg" alt="Trust saves time" width="300" />
Early in my career I noticed the relationship between trust and time. A lot of my work involved charging for my time on an hourly basis. What I noticed was that I could get more done (and the customers would get better value for their money) if we trusted each other. When there is trust you spend less time proving and more time doing. </p>
Stephen M. R. Covey in his book the “The Speed of Trust” highlights this relationship between trust and time (or speed) which can be illustrated as follows [NB - I have added the ‘time saved’ component]:
<img src="/sites/default/files/trust vs time saved.jpg" alt="Trust vs Time Saved" width="450" />
<H2>The time saving aspects of trust</H2>
There are two time saving aspects to trust.
<H3>1. Trusting others saves time</H3>
<i>“Speed happens when people … truly trust each other” (Edward Marshall)</i>
A study entitled <i>“Trust problems in household outsourcing” (by Ruijter E., Lippe T, Raub W)</i> found that - despite the strong need for help many people do not outsource their housekeeping duties due to lack of trust in providers. Of course, trust issues are much broader than household outsourcing. In the work place we find ineffective teams and wasteful monitoring due to lack of trust. The result of this is less free time.</p>
In all aspects of life we need people we can trust. If we don’t have them we need to find or cultivate them. If we have people we can trust then we can outsource or delegate work with peace of mind, and without the need to constantly monitor. We can also save time when we have – trusted authors, trusted advisors, and even trusted brands.
Trust can free up time to do other things.
<u>Just to clarify</u> – I am not advocating blind trust. Clearly that would be foolish. To save time we need to find or cultivate people we can have good reason to trust.</p>
<H3>2. Being trusted saves time</h3>
<i>“I'm not upset that you lied to me; I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you” (Friedrich Nietzsche)</i>
<p>If your staff and colleges trust you then you can get more done. An article on 'Trust and integrity' by the Pease group explains - when someone trusts you <i>“they don’t waste time asking, ‘what are you doing?’, ‘how are you going to do it?’ ‘ why are you doing it that way?’”</i> . If you are trusted then people are more likely to quickly accept and follow your instruction.</p>
In addition to time saving, being trusted provides the following benefits:
<li>Repeat business. People want to buy goods and services from people they trust.
<li>Premium price: If there is trust they are even willing to pay a premium.
<li>Staff retention: People want to trust the people they work for.
<li>Freedom: When you are trusted you can do things your way.
<li>Valued: When you are trusted your opinion is more valued.
<H2>Trust and effective teams</H2>
<i> “Trust is probably the cheapest and most under explored lever for increased productivity available to organizations”. (Jack Keogh).</i>
<p>Trust is one of the most important influences on team behavior. Teams with members that trust each other get more done. Conversely, if team members don’t trust each other we see negative behavior such as – withholding information, not sharing resources, lack of collaboration and communication, and a reluctance to ask for(or provide) help.</p>
<p>Research supports the positive effects of trust on teams. According to Sandra Kiffin-Petersen one of the reasons <i>“often cited for trust’s importance is that team members who trust each other are better able to examine and improve team processes and hence, to self-manage their own performance”</i>. A study by Zand (1981) found that teams that trusted each other <i>“(1) exchanged relevant ideas and feelings more openly; (2) defined goals and problems more clearly and realistically; (3) searched for alternatives more extensively; (4) had greater influence on solutions; (5) were more satisfied with their problem-solving efforts; and (6) had greater motivation to implement the solution”</i>. Larson and La Fasto (1989) found that trusting teams communicate better.</p>
<p>In looking at effective international teams, David Trickey has come up with a ten item ‘trust criteria’ for teams – competence; shared values beliefs and objectives; concern for each other’s welfare; Integrity; consistent and predictable behavior over time; lack of fear; Inclusion; openness to sharing information; sharing of true feelings; and, reciprocal trust with other group members.</p>
<H2>Being trusted by others</H2>
To increase your trustworthiness consider the following:
<li>Value your integrity and be honest with everyone. Don’t devalue your integrity by lying to make your life easier. Stick with the truth even if it hurts.
<li>Set realistic deadlines and meet them. Do what it takes to fulfill your commitment.
<li>Build your competence level. Competence increases credibility.
<li>Be very careful about giving advice or opinions on areas beyond your expertise.
<li>When you’re wrong admit it early, apologize, and take corrective action.
<li>Do the job well and do it right the first time. The more rework that needs to be done later the more credibility you lose.
<li>Clarity. Ensure you understand what you are delivering, and the other person(s) knows what you are delivering. Set realistic expectations in the other persons mind.
<li>Build a good team of people you can count on.
<li>Arrive on time for appointments.
<li>Act in the best interest of the customer, or other person.
And remember - trust saves you time, and those that depend on you.</p>
<b>Related CraveTime articles</b>
<li><a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/concepts/more-trust-and-time"><u>More on Trust and Time</u></a>
<li><a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/concepts/energy-management-how-managi... Management - How managing personal energy levels saves time</u></a>
<li><a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/concepts/ego-management-how-humilty-s... Management - How Humility Saves Time</u></a>
"><u>Better than time management - introduction to alternatve methods to save time</u></a>
<li>Covey, Stephen M.R, <i> “The Speed of Trust”</i>, Free Press, New York, NY, 2006.
<li>Kiffin-Petersen, Sandra <i>“ Trust: A neglected variable in team effectiveness”</i>, Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management”, 2004; 10, 1: ABI/Inform Global, p38
<li>Larson C.E, & LaFasto, F.M, <i>“Teamwork – what must go right/what can go wrong”</i>, Sage, Newbury Park, 1989.
<li>Pease Group, article - http://www.thepeasegroup.com/_blog/Articles/post/Trust_and_Integrity-_Wi... accessed August 2010
<li>Power, M, <i>“The Audit Society: Rituals of verifications”</i>, Oxford Press, 1997
<li>Ruijter E., Lippe T, Raub W., <i>“Trust problems in household outsourcing”</i>, Rationality and Society 2003’ 15; 473.
<li>Zand, D.E, <i>“Information, organization and power”</i>, McGraw-Hill, San Francisco.