Charles Green, author of a series of books that have long been a favorite of mine, I own them all, discussed in a past podcast with me the trustworthiness and who is the most trusted professional. Can you guess before reading below?
Related Podcast and Transcription: The Trust Equation (A copy of Charles’ books are listed)
Charles: About sixty thousand people have taken it, and, I guess, some of the headlines… to me the most interesting headline is, and let me take you as a test case here, Joe – who do you think is more trustworthy, men or women? What would you guess? Don’t over-think it.
Joe: Oh. Women.
Charles: Oh, you’re absolutely right. It’s true, and is statistically, significantly true, and more to the point, when I asked people like I just did you: which one do you think is more trustworthy, 98 times out of a 100, people will say “women”, which I think is also kind of a proof. Secondly, it turns out that almost all of that difference in the study between women being more trustworthy than men rests on women getting higher scores in one of those four components. Let’s see if you can guess which one it is. Credibility, reliability, intimacy or self-orientation? Which one do women do better at?
Charles: You are correct again. You’re batting a thousand. Women are statistically, significantly better at that. Now, related, there are other studies, besides this one that, looked at professions for example – who has highest and lowest trustworthiness? No surprise, lawyers and politicians are at the bottom. Lawyer in Europe do a little better than here. Who do you think is at the top of the list? The most trustworthy profession in almost every survey you can think of? Want to guess?
Joe: Oh, no. I can’t even… the quality professional.
Charles: Well, people, usually, come up with, you know, doctors, or pharmacists, or teachers, or whatever. Now, number one is nursing. Nurses are the most trusted profession. Which makes sense when you think about it. If the doctor says you’re going to up and walking in a month, and the nurse is, “Honey, it’s going to be eight weeks,” you know, whom do we believe? We believe the nurse. We’re very comfortable sharing intimate things, our bodies, our minds, our thoughts with nurses, and it’s no accident that nursing is predominantly, not entirely, but predominantly a feminine profession. All these things fit together – female, intimacy, and nursing. It turns out that the biggest factor, the one with the most power in the trust equation, and we didn’t expect it going in, is intimacy.
If you want to create trust, or sense of trustworthiness, the biggest single lever that you have is to be able to create a sense of intimacy with other people. It’s also no accident that conmon know that too, by the way. So, they know dummies and that’s the one they go for. You know, “I’m your friend, you can trust me. I have your best interest at heart. I understand who you are.” It’s a preferred tactic of con-men, for good reason.
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