Jane McConnell contributes to the Trust Exchange Research by sharing her thoughts on our three starting questions. Jane runs NetJMC, a strategy consultancy focused on intranets. NetJMC publishes the annual Global Intranet Trends Report, the next edition will be available in the second part of October. Have a quick glance at the first results here.
Three questions on Trust
- Who do you trust online?
- What is your trust built on?
- 3. What difference does trust make?
People I know or who come to me from other people I know. I also look at their online presence (web, blog, whatever) and make a judgement call based on that if I don’t know the person. When it gets right down to it, there are not tons of people I trust online.
Regarding web sites, that’s even more limited.
For transactional sites, it depends on the brand and the ease of use of the site. I’m influenced here by BJ Fogg’s work. When people I don’t know contact me, (which happens quite a lot) I tend to place more trust in those who are humble in their approach rather than those who are overly confident.
1. Transparency- I want to know the person’s real name, and a photo makes a big difference.
2. Win-win relations – I trust people who give to others. People who are generous with their time and their contacts. However, I mistrust people who seem to do nothing but communicate on line because it makes me wonder what they are doing with their lives.
When someone asks me for something, and I have a doubt, I usually give a little, and wait to see what the person does in exchange. If the relation goes well, it builds up gradually as each gives more to the other. An example of this is sharing contact names.
3. History with the person. E.g. did they answer my email last time?
4. Flexibility about language: the virtual context is very different from the physical world in that the clues we use to trust or not are different. I’ve done a lot of thinking about virtual teams and building trust.
It’s important to realize that what might come across as brusqueness or rudeness in English might simply come from lack of mastery of the English language in writing, since virtual communication depends very much on the written word. Native-speakers have to tone down, simplify their language, in order to be easily understood and hopefully trusted by others.
All the difference in the world! Nothing to say here that I would not say for „real life“. You can work with people you trust, enjoy being with them, help them out, and count on them when you need help.