Posts by Esséré

The 4 levels of Trust in a Relationship


Based on the books of David Maister “The Trusted Advisor” and Stephen Covey “The speed of Trust”

Trust is the cement of a constructive relationship, which creates value, even in challenging moments. It allows you to be yourself, with the other person. It puts the relationship above problems, differences and judgements. It allows us to express our best with the other. This is no longer in doubt, I believe.

Trust has been discussed by many researchers and is part of popular wisdom.

We know, for example, that it takes time to establish and is easily lost, that to give confidence you must start by having confidence in yourself, that manager’s confidence is necessary to learn and grow, that fear is the enemy of confidence (cf. Psychological Safety), etc.

But the analysis of David Maister, a former Harvard professor and yet a renowned consultant, takes us one step further. Maister, in observing “Trusted Advisors” – advisors who have developed a very high level of effectiveness with their clients – identifies 4 levels of trust in relationships. The first two – Credibility and Reliability – are based on words and actions. The last two – Intimacy and Positive Intention – are based on heart and guts.

With our clients, we use this approach to strengthen relationships, to get the words circulate, to get teams to go further and take the lead in their destiny. For this, we propose to experience the Leader’s Compass: the alignment between the Head (our external reality), the Heart (what we feel at all times) and the Gut (what is essential for us).