Understanding The Trust Equation The Trust Equation When we think of trust and what it means, we quickly realize it encompasses many things. In fact, the level of trust in business relationships, whether internal with employees or colleagues or external with clients and partners, is the greatest determinant of success. The challenge is having a conceptual framework and analytical way of evaluating and understanding trust. In , , and our founder Charles H. All three books describe The Trust Equation in detail.

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Oct 03, Dennis rated it really liked it I should stick these two lists to my bathroom mirror, my phone, and the inside of my eyelids. They: 1. Probe for clarification 2. Listen for unvoiced emotions 3. Listen for the story 4. Summarize well 6. Listen for whats different, not for whats familiar 7. Take it all seriously they dont say, You shouldnt worry about that 8. Spot hidden assumptions 9. Let the client get it out of his or her system Ask How do you feel about that?

I should stick these two lists to my bathroom mirror, my phone, and the inside of my eyelids. Keep asking for more detail that helps them understand Get rid of distractions while listening Focus on hearing your version first Let you tell your story your way Ask you how you think they might be of help Look at not stare at the client as he or she speaks Look for congruity or incongruity between what the client says and how he or she gestures and postures Make it seem as if the client is the only thing that matters and that they have all the time in the world Encourage by nodding head or giving a slight smile Interrupt 2.

Respond too soon 3. Jump to conclusions much less judgments 6. Ask closed-end questions for no reason 7. Give you their ideas before hearing yours 8. Judge you 9. Try to solve the problem too quickly Take calls or interruptions in the course of a client meeting it seems so obvious but watch how often it happens! And when he wrote about the finer points of advice-giving, it became required reading for my staff. Today -- years after its first publication -- this remains a "go to" book for anyone in the advice-giving business.

Remember when management consulting firms were actually hiring people? In those distant days, the New York Times reported a trend of recruiting new consultants not from leading business schools - but from the worlds of law, medicine and other professional degree esp.

PhD programs. For some, this immersion into the world of business took the form of an intensive, multi-week "mini-MBA" program in conjunction with a local business school. The results? To the surprise of many, longitudinal studies showed these "nontraditional" consulting recruits to be performing as well as if not better than many of their MBA counterparts. Among other things, this provocative research raised questions about which core skills are at the heart of successful management consulting today.

Former Harvard Business School Professor David Maister built a reputation as "the guru to the gurus" - and he conducted now retired a global practice in the management of professional service firms. And The Trusted Advisor co-authored with Charles Green and Robert Galford enjoyed a similar reception when it was released some years ago. The authors who jointly possess more than a little knowledge about the current state of service firm management around the world make this assertion: " On the contrary, they see these core competencies as the absolutely critical foundation upon which a professional career is built - whether this knowledge is acquired before or after one takes a consulting position.

But if these "lost" skills truly are critical to professional success, how is it that graduate schools and professional business, law, accounting firms are often failing to cultivate these capabilities? For one thing, these client-relations capabilities are relatively difficult to teach and test in a traditional academic setting - even in those institutions with an enlightened business curriculum. And in many professional service firm settings the culture often celebrates rainmakers who generate business from new clients - rather rewarding those who ably serve existing clients and earn additional projects from them.

But "The Trusted Advisor" is less concerned with assigning blame than it is in remedying the situation. The authors offer a prescription to develop and nurture the "soft" skills of earning client trust and learning how to give good advice. Theirs is a formula that is both theoretically sound and eminently practical.

Any serious consultant cannot look at this list without saying, "Yes, I really want these benefits; what must I do to achieve them? Anyone who has billed more than a few hours as a consultant in any field will recognize the common-sense appeal that underlies many of the bromides from "The Trusted Advisor.

Maister, Green and Galford also add value by demystifying the emotional dimensions inherent in consulting and by wrapping together the panoply of related issues under the umbrella of a central unifying concept: "trust.

And by demonstrating through their intimate, self-revealing writing what they prescribe for others, the authors take risks and encourage us to do the same. Most notably, they risk talking about the "soft" side of consulting - that which involves emotions, uncertainty and the often-mysterious subtext that accompanies "the real work" in any given assignment.

This book is powerful - since its logic is unassailable and its methods can so handily be implemented both by individuals, departments or entire firms. This is not to underestimate the difficulty of organizational culture change, but to say that the concepts themselves are both accessible and scalable.


The Trusted Advisor

During the period when he was obtaining his formal education he worked as a statistician at Bell Canada Montreal , and as a lecturer in economics and statistics at the Polytechnic of the South Bank now known as London South Bank University. As an academic, his initial teaching, research and publishing focus was in the area of logistics, transportation, and operations management he authored or co-authored seven books while teaching at the University of British Columbia , Canada — , and the Harvard Business School — In , he left Harvard Business School to spend full-time consulting to professional firms. He retired in He lives in Boston with his wife, Kathy Maister.


David Maister




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