Endorse who?

IB Madison Ask an Expert Karen Hitchcock

At a recent Ask An Expert Panel, I noticed that Todd came across as a trusted, credible source of information for 5Nines. Great job!

Through my work with SoLoMo this past year, I’ve done a lot of reading about trust and the importance trust plays in business relationships (with both your staff and your clients). Although this isn’t a new concept, I’ve noticed that people are digging much, much deeper into it. Because information is so widely available online about each and every one of us and because our digital world forces a transparency that companies have rarely initiated, the public is seeking answers to this question: who do i trust?

The ability to trust doesn’t come with an on/off switch. We’re now segmenting trust into different pieces. You may hear phrases like these:

  • I trust you with this, but not that.
  • I trust you, but won’t bet my life on it. So fair warning: I can pull my trust at any time.
  • I trust him but not her.
  • I don’t trust “them” at all, but it’s my only option.

We need to divide trust into manageable pieces. I’ll press organizations and people to expand our vocabulary regarding trust. Let’s get more granular so we can talk about the elements of trust. Then, we can tackle these smaller pieces that to build trust.

I was just on LinkedIn and realized that there’s something that’s shaking my trust in that platform and it has to do with credibility. People trust when they feel that you’re credible. You do what you say most of the time and you follow through well. To be credible, you may need to be selective. Take LinkedIn’s new endorsement feature.

The majority of my LinkedIn contacts are people I know. Based on this easy-to-use endorsement tool, I could quickly endorse nearly everyone I know for something. I’ve definitely endorsed a handful of people. It’s a pretty cool feature, but I’m not endorsing everyone.

There are some people on LinkedIn, however, that are endorsing nearly everyone they know. Now, I wonder how credible these people really are. I forget what movie this quote is from, but there was line that went something like this, “When we make everyone special, then no one is.”

If you endorse everyone, you’re not selective; this lack of discernment may affect your credibility. And without credibility, trust is hard. And without trust…well…there’s not much left, is there?

I’m currently reading The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey’s son. If you’re interested in this topic, check it out.

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