Mindstate Motivation Blog

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Trust Busted

So, you say that it is extremely important in all aspects of your life that people trust you. Okay!!! But, the fact is it’s hard as granite to build trust but instantaneously easy to “bust” people’s trust in you. Pardon the pun…but trust once busted…your reputation is permanently rusted!

So, what is the key to building and maintaining trust in whatever your relationship to other people? In a few words the answer is complete and total transparency. The confirmation of that fact may be best illustrated by a big company with a very big problem at one time.

Johnson and Johnson Company’s Tylenol product, just prior to the “big problem”, was the most successful over-the-counter product in the U.S. Then, disaster of major proportions struck through some “sicko” lacing the products with a poison and killing seven consumers in the process. Suddenly, a highly trusted product and its manufacturer had to explain why it was killing people. Talk about trust busted, potentially! It can’t get much worse than a situation like that.

Here’s the bottom-line on what Johnson and Johnson did to minimize the loss of trust in such a desperate situation. To give people a sense of total transparency in terms of their motives going forward from the initial crisis, they made it absolutely clear in every action they took that the company’s first concern was saving the people first and the product second. Tens of millions of dollars were lost through pulling the product off of the shelf throughout the entire country as well as through all the other related issues.

Today, Johnson and Johnson and more specifically, the Tylenol product, has totally regained the trust that existed before the crisis. Frankly, it’s my opinion they never completely lost trust during the height of the crisis because their total transparency in how they handled the situation quickly confirmed external product tampering rather than some fault of their’s.

So, in all your dealings with people recognize the formula for success in building rather than busting trust: Trust = Transparency. I can’t be any more “clear” than that.

Copyright (c) 2008 Gary Greenfield, Performance Alliance, L.C. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be used without prior written permission.
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