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A Summary of Trust Taxes and Dividends

The 80% Tax (Nonexistent Trust)
In the organization . . . In personal relationships . . .
  • Dysfunctional environment and toxic culture (open warfare, sabotage, grievances, lawsuits, criminal behavior)
  • Militant stakeholders
  • Intense micromanagement
  • Redundant hierarchy
  • Punishing systems and structures
  • Dysfunctional relationships
  • Hot, angry confrontations or cold, bitter withdrawal
  • Defensive posturing and legal posturing ("I'll see you in court")
  • Labeling of others as enemies or allies
  • Verbal, emotional, and/or physical abuse
The 60% Tax (Very Low Trust)
In the organization . . . In personal relationships . . .
  • Unhealthy work environment
  • Unhappy employees and stakeholders
  • Intense political atmosphere with clear camps and parties
  • Excessive time wasted defending positions and decisions
  • Painful micromanagement and bureaucracy
  • Hostile behaviors (yelling, blaming, accusing, name-calling) followed by periods of brief contrition
  • Guarded communication
  • Constant worrying and suspicion
  • Mistakes remembered and used as weapons
  • Real issues not surfaced or dealt with effectively
The 40% Tax (Low Trust)
In the organization . . . In personal relationships . . .
  • Common "CYA" behavior
  • Hidden agendas
  • Many dissatisfied employees and stakeholders
  • Political camps with allies and enemies
  • Bureaucracy and redundancy in systems and structures
  • Energy draining and joyless interactions
  • Evidence gathering of other party's weaknesses and mistakes
  • Doubt about others' reliability or commitment
  • Hidden agendas
  • Guarded (often grudging) dispersion of information
The 20% Tax (Trust Issues)
In the organization . . . In personal relationships . . .
  • A Summary of Trust Taxes and Dividends
  • Some bureaucratic rules and prejudices
  • Unnecessary hierarchy
  • Slow approvals
  • Misaligned systems and structures
  • Some dissatisfied employees and stakeholders
  • Regular misunderstandings
  • Concerns about intent and motive
  • Interactions characterized by tension
  • Communications colored by fear, uncertainty, doubt and worry
  • Energy spent in maintaining (instead of growing) relationships
No Tax/No Dividend (Trust Is Not an Issue)
In the organization . . . In personal relationships . . .
  • Healthy workplace
  • Good communication
  • Aligned systems
  • Few office politics
  • Polite, cordial, healthy communications
  • A focus on working together smoothly and efficiently
  • Mutual tolerance and acceptance
  • No worries
The 20% Dividend (Trust Is a Visible Asset)
In the organization . . . In personal relationships . . .
  • The focus in on work
  • Effective collaboration and execution
  • Positive partnering relationships with employees and stakeholders
  • Helpful systems and structures
  • Strong creativity and innovation
  • Cooperative, close, vibrant relationships
  • A focus on looking for and leveraging one another's strengths
  • Uplifting and positive communication
  • Mistakes seen as learning opportunities and quickly forgiven
  • Positive energy and positive people
Source: The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, Stephen M.R. Covey, Free Press, New York, 2006
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