Posted on Aug 14 2005
‘Would they Hide Me?’ Musings on Trust.
We all make judgements about each other constantly. Each of us will have our own personal criteria on how we decide whether to trust another person or not, and also exactly how much we trust them.
Say, someone you barely talk to heard you were wanting to shed some inches of fat, and told you there was a certain, special way on how to attain that goal… Would you trust them enough to try it out? Or would you second guess it and ignore the fact that it might actually work…?
Assessing trustworthiness is an essential element to successful relationships and also helps avoid those people that are likely to cause harm in a variety of ways, for example, abusive relationships.
Unfortunately for most, harmful people do not turn up wearing big, flashing signs that scream ‘potentially dangerous to happiness.’
A recent neurological study found that the human brain takes only three-hundreth of a second to actually assess trustworthiness and this information is based mainly on facial features.
Of course the brain’s initial response to somebody’s facial feature is only the first part of the story.
Other factors that affect how easily (or not) a person trusts another are based on a whole host of individual factors including:-
Now, in all seriousness, trust is essential in business. So let’s get to the crux of the matter and retell a story of one of the world’s richest entrepreneurs Warren Buffet.
Buffett told the tale of one of his business associates, an amazing woman and the founder of the Nebraska Furniture Mart, Rose Blumkin.
Rose Blumkin, was born of Jewish descent in Russia to a very poor family who owned a grocery store.
She survived the holocaust, like many Jewish people of the time, by fleeing to America where she set up the Nebraska Furniture Mart in Omaha. She started this business from the basement of her husbands shop from $500 she borrowed from her brother.
Throughout her life, Rose financially assisted with, and was active in charities dedicated to Jewish holocaust survivors and immigrants. She died aged 104.
Rose Blumkin, when speaking on the subject of trust to Warren Buffet said that the way she evaluated a person, on this key subject, was to ask herself one crucial question, at the time of the persecution of the Jews,
Would they hide me?
…and that is a big ask. How many of you can honestly answer yes?