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December 2011

Trust factor: Part II

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Why is trust factor important? What is its value?

When people have credibility, they are able to inspire others to trust and believe in who they are and what they do.

What builds it and what tears it down? Can you have it and lose it? And  if you lose it, can you get it back?

Credibility is available for everyone-regardless of who you are and what you do. Your position, status or role in life has nothing to do with your personal trust factor. Different people play different roles in their careers and some are roles of very high authority-however, there is no lasting connection between higher authority and your credibility.

I will give you couple of instances to drive home the point.

1. Five students are expected to complete a project for their school assignment. The teacher nominated Keith to be the captain of the team. Just in case, if he is unavailable the teacher nominated Anish. Well, Keith has good grades in the class. Anish grades are lesser than Keith but when comes to discussion for the project, the group members listened and paid attention to Anish more than Keith. Why? Anish showed lot of initiative and took steps about making the project work whereas Keith was basking in the sun.  There are occasions when Keith and Anish had said the same idea, but the group members bought what Anish said as opposed to Keith as they saw Anish in action. Action brings credibility than position.

2. During this short stay in Chennai, I wanted to make sure I am healthy. I was checking out the gyms in the local area. I probably visited about half a dozen of them. Finally I shortlisted them based on one vital component. I was looking at the people who were showing me around the gym. I looked at how they looked. Some of them I gotta tell you have not worked out ever. Anyways, the take home message is, " It is not what you say, it is what you do that gives credibility.

To be continued..after my class.

The 'Trust Factor'

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I am enjoying the time in India serving my parents and thankful to God for giving me an opportunity to be with them during these times. Thankfully, I am blessed with an opportunity to teach couple of wonderful students from US during the night time (using Skype). After I am done with the sessions around midnight, I am all fresh and up. During this time it gives me an opportunity to ponder upon few things which had been in my mind for sometime.

Essentially it revolves around the topic of  'Trust'. How important is Trust in a relationship, in a business or in general life. What gives credibility to someone?

When others believe, trust and have confidence in you, you instantly receive their respect meaning you have credibility with them. When you are respected, your self-worth and confidence increases. When you receive respect- from both yourself and others- you are both self-accepting. Self-acceptance allows you to be just yourself, which increases authenticity. When you are genuine, others instinctively believe and trust in you more.

But wait a minute..Is trust based on the type of person that you are, or is it based on the types of things you do?

If you think about it, the only way we can assess people is from our observations of what they do.

To give you an instance, few weeks back my parents had ordered an inverter (An inverter is an instrument which helps you to operate few of your electrical appliances in the event of an electrical power shutdown so that you can operate appliances such as light or fan etc.). The guy who came to our place for installing talked to us as if he is genuine. After he left we found out, he installed an older equipment which didn't have warranty. Anyway long story short, we found that the guy was a phony (even though he looked genuine). His actions showed what he was really made up of. There are two things which are really vital to understand. Character and reputation. Character is what you are and reputation is what other people think of you. Most people worry about reputation than character. 

Actions speak louder than words. It is what people do that forms our opinions, relationships and ultimate decisions of whether to trust and respect them. Our impressions, thoughts, and opinions are constantly being formed and reformed, most often in our subconscious. Although, we might be unaware of it, we stay in constant "observer" mode with those around us, and they say in the same mode observing us! We might not always have all the facts, and our observations might change over time, but regardless it is still the only information on which we have to base our thoughts and opinions of others. For this reason, it is what people do that determines our belief, respect and trust in them- it what we all do that determines our credibility.

Why is this important? At our very core, we want to know who can trust and respect- and we want to receive the same trust and respect from others. However, we are living in a world where it is becoming more and more difficult to discern who deserves our trust and respect. Headlines and TV news are filled with stories of troubled organizations, sports personalities, political leaders for misleading the public. Consequently we find ourselves wondering if personal credibility with public figures is only something of the past. On a more personal level, family, friends and coworkers violate our trust and lose credibility as a result. Most people- regardless of whether they are in the public spotlight-don't intentionally choose a life of being disbelieved, mistrusted and disrespected.

The true reality is that trust either occurs or is damaged due to ongoing decisions we make and behaviors we demonstrate.

For most of us, there is an inherent need to be valued and respected by others, while at the same time, to be comfortable and confident in being who we authentically are. We want to live a life that causes others to say: " Karthik Gurumurthy- now that is someone with  credibility or someone I can always trust!' We all don't experience that type of life though. The great news is this :We all can experience greater personal credibility- if we are willing to take sometime to  honestly evaluate ourselves, look at our own actions and behaviors, and build some new habits. More on this tomorrow.  Good night.


-Karthik Gurumurthy

I am currently in India spending time with my parents. It was not a planned trip here and taking things as it comes and doing things as according to the needs of the day.

Couple of weeks back, I celebrated my tenth anniversary of my 28th birthday-:). It was special because I spent it with my parents here in India after 15 years.  As I am spending time here with my parents, I am thankful for lot of things God has bestowed me upon. The list is endless, but I am going to pen down whatever comes to my mind.

  • I am thankful to God for giving me wonderful parents  and my brother who had poured unconditional love and affection on me. My parents did whatever they could to make our life better than what they had and sacrificed a ton to give us the best education and support more than what they could have physically afforded. They went the extra mile, sought help and did whatever needed to be done so that we can have a better lifestyle. I am permanently indebted to them for all they did and they continue to do and we really wish we can do the same for our kids.
  • Along the same lines, I am thankful to God for blessing my Dad and my mom with a long life  and keeping them healthy, strong and happy and making sure all their organs are functioning properly.
  • I am grateful to God for blessing me with a beautiful  (both inside and outside) wife who had been my change agent in my life. She is my best friend and completes me in all areas. She totally exemplify unconditional love and personifies womanly intuitions which have given me a totally different perspective which has helped understand different things in a better way. I am fortunate to have her as my wife and she has been always by my side and has been greatest encourager and cheerleader. I am hoping I do the same for her. 
  • I am thankful for all my teachers (from Kindergarten to Graduate School) who shared their nuggets of knowledge and wisdom which has helped me to do my profession well.
  • I am thankful to all friends and family (plenty to name!) who had shown the presence of God & guided me for good, and had given unconditional support at times of need and am grateful to them forever for being there during the times of adversity and really  hoping I would be there for them (in times of need).
  • I am thankful to all my employers, business associates and students for giving me an opportunity to serve them.
  • I am thankful to all my coaches, mentors for guiding me in the right path and showing me the light at the end of the tunnel when I had difficulty believing myself. I would like to set the right good example for everyone to follow.
  • I am thankful for making each day count towards my goals so that I can lead a life of significance.
  • I want to be known and remembered for having devoted myself to my family, being a good human being, creating great wealth and using that wealth to help others.