Stephen Covey’s Smart Trust Matrix Zones

Zone 1 (High Propensity to Trust; Low Analysis) is the “Blind Trust” zone of gullibility. It’s the Pollyanna approach where people blissfully trust everyone. This is where we find those “suckers who are born every minute” — those people who are a sure bet to fall for Internet, marketing, investment, and other scams.

Fyre Festival Scam

One of the biggest scams in the world. This was a shame. Rich charlatans from America went on a journey to the Bahamas with promise that this particular festival would be the greatest ever. Instead, they were introduced to refugee tents, cheese sandwiches, wet beds, and no water — including loss luggage and dozens of other things.

Hey, it happens. But shortly after, they received emails about “VIP Ticket New York,” a scammer by the name of Frank, who was offering them tickets for events that didn’t even exist. He ended up selling 15 tickets priced at 100K USD each…scamming them out of 1.5 million dollars. It was so repulsive to see, but the gullibles will never learn, unfortunately.

Zone 2 (High Propensity to Trust; High Analysis) is the “Smart Trust” zone of judgement. This is where you combine the propensity to trust with the analysis to manage risk wisely. this is where you get both good business judgment and good people judgment — including enhanced instinct and intuition.

Zone 3 (Low Propensity to Trust; Low Analysis) is the “No Trust” zone of indecision. People here tend not to trust anyone. Because their own analysis is low, they tend to not even trust themselves.

Zone 4 (Low Propensity to Trust; High Analysis) is the “Distrust” zone of suspicion. This is where you find people who extend trust very cautiously or not at all. In fact, some are so suspicious that they do not trust anyone but themselves.

So, there’s a tremendous risk in Zone 1. If you unquestioningly trust everyone, you will sooner or later get burned.

Zone 3 is a wipeout. With poor and low in both areas, you’re going to get the worst of both worlds.

The biggest surprise is Zone 4. While it may sound low risk because you’re keeping the trust for yourself, this is actually one of the highest risk zones of all. When you’re highly suspicious, you tend to try to validate everything, to analyze everything to death — which ends up decreasing speed and cost.


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