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Trust Works! Four Keys to Building Lasting Relationships by Ken Blanchard

Trust works
Trust Works! Four Keys to Building Lasting Relationships by Ken Blanchard, Cynthia Olmstead and Martha Lawrence.
*** ½

The authors state that their intention with this book is to raise our awareness about the trust issues in our lives, as well as to give us the language and tools to resolve them. They tell us that trust is in the eye of the beholder. We can be completely unaware that our behavior is eroding the trust of those around us.
The first part of the book is a parable (think of a Patrick Lencioni book in which he uses a fable to illustrate his points and then summarizes the main points at the end of the book) about how the lack of trust between a cat and a dog threatens the tranquility of an animal friendly family. In the second part of the book we are introduced to trust-building resources. We learn about Trust Boosters, Trust Busters and the ABCD Trust Model.
The four components of the model are:
A – Able
B – Believable
C – Connected
D – Dependable

Throughout the parable, we are given tools to evaluate our behavior in regards to ability, believability, connectedness and dependability.

The first step in building more trusting relationships is to recognize which behaviors build trust (Trust Boosters) and which have the opposite effect (Trust Busters). An extensive list of behaviors that either bust or boost trust is included.

While self-perception is important, the authors also include a copy of the ABCD assessment in the back of the book that you can copy and ask people in the workplace, at home or in other social networks to complete, rating us in the areas of Able, Believable, Connected and Dependable. The assessment is also available at: Then, we should compare our self-assessment with the assessments of those who know us well.

The book also includes helpful sections on how to recognize Trust Busters, learning to have trust conversations, applying the ABCD Trust Model to our own lives and rebuilding damaged trust. In the latter section, the authors write:

“If you are avoiding another person because you feel there is no safe way to communicate openly, you are probably experiencing damaged trust. If the very thought of approaching this person fills you with dread, anger, or fear, that’s another sign that you’re dealing with damaged trust.”

There is a section on building trust in organizations, a message for leaders in which the authors state that the ability to build trust is the defining competency for leaders in the twenty-first century. They write:

“Organizational trust is built on everyday actions. Most of us have dealt with broken promises, unfulfilled commitments, and leaders withholding information, unfair treatment, lies and dishonesty, which are all too common in the workplace. Repeated occurrences of these trust-busting behaviors by leaders foster low trust environments, resulting in employees who are demoralized, disengaged, unproductive, afraid to take risks, and ultimately at a higher risk to leave the organization.”

This is a quick-read that includes helpful resources for the building of trust in all relationships.

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