Monday, October 8, 2012

Covey’s Speed of Trust 7: 2nd Core of Credibility—Intent

Covey tree metaphorThis continues our series reviewing Stephen M. R. Covey book The Speed of Trust

The first wave of trust establishes trust in yourself. Stephen M. R. Covey describes four cores of credibility to establish self-trust. The first and second of the cores, integrity and intent, affirm your character. The third and fourth core, capabilities and results, affirm your competence. Trust drops when people either misunderstand or doubt your intent. So, let’s discuss how to clarify your intent to others.

What is Intent?

Covey writes “In the dictionary, intent is defined as ‘plan’ or ‘purpose.’ I am convinced that no discussion of intent would be complete without talking about three things: motive, agenda, and behavior.”

  • Motive is your reason for doing something…the ‘why’ that motivates the ‘what’. The motive that inspires the greatest trust is genuine caring—caring about people, caring about purposes, caring about the quality of what you do, caring about society as a whole”
  • Agenda grows out of motive. Its what you intend to do or promote because of your motive. The agenda that generally inspires the greatest trust is seeking mutual benefit."
  • Behavior is the manifestation of motive and agenda. The behavior that best creates credibility and inspires trust is acting in the best interest of others.

Misunderstandings about intent frequently reduce credibility. For example, you may ask a question during a meeting or webinar. Perhaps others in the meeting question your motive or assume you possess a hidden agenda.

How to Improve Intent

Covey continues “When we believe people truly are acting in our best interest, we tend to trust them. When we believe that they are not acting in our best interest, we do not trust them. It’s that simple. The challenge then, is to improve intent. So here are the top three accelerators I recommend to help you do it.”

  • Examine and Refine Your Motives to verify why you do what you do
  • Declare Your Intent in words everyone can understand
  • Choose Abundance, not of scarcity, as a foundational element of improving intent

Wednesday we will review Stephen M. R. Covey’s 3rd core of credibility—capabilities

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