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Trust is the basis for a good relationship. We know and feel this, but it is an elusive concept. What is trust now and how do you create mutual trust in relationships?

Stephen Covey describes confidence in his book The Speed ​​Of Trust not so much as a 'soft' social value, but as an economically measurable instrument. He makes trust tangible on the basis of concrete properties and behaviors. To strengthen credibility and to give confidence to others.

According to Covey, this starts with trust in yourself. Four 'cores of credibility' are important here: integrity, intentions, capacities and results.


One of the biggest breaks in trust comes from non-integrity behavior. Integrity is more than honesty; according to Covey it consists of:

Congruency: respect your values ​​and intent
Humility: the importance of the other above self-interest can put
Courage: do what is right even if that is difficult

Intention comes from our personal values; what we find important and how we want to behave. It consists of:

Motive: sincerely interested in the other person
Agenda: actively searching for what is good for the other person
Behavior: show your motive and agenda
Competence: TASKS

The third core for trust in yourself is competence. Everything that is experienced will ensure that you can do your work perfectly. Covey explains this in 4 points:

Talents: what you are good at by nature
Attitude: how you stand in your work / life
Skills: things you have learned to do
Knowledge: what you know and keep up to date
Style: your unique way of doing things

The latest core of credibility is result. Doing what you promise to do is crucial to trust in yourself and to gain trust from others. Another is mainly looking at:

Past: what did you show?
Current: what do you add now?
Potential: what can be expected of you in the future?

The theoretical framework of Covey provides a good insight into the many facets of trust. And especially handles to work on trust. By consciously paying attention to these points, examining how you express this and how others do this, trust becomes more tangible and it can yield you a lot.