“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
What makes someone trustworthy? We trust people every day: the teacher, the policeman, the nurse; a host of acquaintances and complete strangers as we go about our lives and work. But who considers themselves most trustworthy?
If we believe that trust is earned before it is given, then a lot of our daily lives would become impossible. We wouldn’t get on a bus before seeing the driver execute a number of manoeuvres to show us his or her skill and therefore trustworthiness. So it’s fair to say that within reason, we trust first and ask questions later.
MoralDNA™ is a psychometric profile that has measured 10 moral values including Trust in a sample of over 80,000 people in 200 countries around the world and we have some surprising results from different occupations concerning their perceived trustworthiness.
Our data analysis reveals that those working in banks, real estate, utilities, insurance, engineering and industrial goods and services describe themselves as people that regard themselves as most trustworthy. High too on the list are the retired, oil and gas workers, accountants and those in consulting and business services. Whilst this list may surprise many, most of these occupations have to be trusted, because without them our society just wouldn’t function.
On the list of those who see themselves as less trustworthy we find those working in news media, arts and crafts, religion, charities and not-for-profits. Creative professionals also doubt themselves, together with politicians. So isn’t it interesting that those responsible for reporting and legislating on others’ behaviour consider themselves less trustworthy?
The gap between the most and least trustworthy is considerable. In our broad sample, news media thought themselves more trustworthy than only 35% of the sample, while bankers considered themselves more trustworthy than 58% of the sample.
To trust is to take a risk and make a judgement call. It also confers a responsibility on those we trust. When trust breaks down, chaos, fear and anger follow this breach in our basic human value system. To betray someone’s trust goes a lot deeper than we often like to admit. Major banks fail through the lack of it, media empires shudder, fortunes are lost and lives ruined.
Truly trusting others and being considered trustworthy in return is a cornerstone of personal integrity, not only in our workplaces but in our personal lives as well.
How trustworthy do you consider yourself to be? What stops you from “doing the right thing”? Join over 80,000 people from over 200 countries around the world and find out more about your values and how you make decisions.