Who can you trust today? And just as importantly, who do your constituents and customers trust?
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, it isn’t government, media or even nonprofits. Barely more than half of respondents trust those sources. The most trusted sources, rather surprisingly, tend to be business leaders – especially their own employer.
My colleague Jeremy Church at WordWrite Communications in Pittsburgh (a fellow PRBI – Public Relations Boutiques International – member) shared some very astute observations about what this means for executors and communicators in the WordWrite Storytellers Blog. He points out that these findings open up an opportunity for CEOs to step in to fill the leadership trust void, doing so with trust, honesty, facts and empathy. I especially like his suggestion that business executives can step in as facilitators with media, government and non-profits to take positive actions that will help close the trust gap.
I highly recommend WordWrite founder Paul Furiga’s book, “Finding Your Capital S Story,” in which he illustrates what stories in the business world can do to engage, influence and impact the organizations’ success. He brings in science, culture and biology to demonstrate the power of story on human beings and how they get our attention even in this world of information overload. What Paul applies to business, I apply to national unity in my book “Magenta Nation,” bringing many of the same techniques and insights into healing the polarization of our nation. Both approaches start with values that are then communicated positively, dramatically and authentically.
Yes, trust is alive – if somewhat diminished – in our world today. It’s up to us to build up these reservoirs of good will and confidence in integrity once again, as communicators, as leaders, and as authentic human beings ourselves.