Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust – Full Book Summary Part 2 – 4 Cores of Credibility – Integrity & Intent

It’s time to break down the next phase of the book summary, and we need to first understand the four cores of credibility.

FirstIntegrity, that you are a person of integrity — that you are honest and congruent, that you have a reputation for being truthful, and that you would not lie.

SecondIntent, that you have good intent — that you’re not trying to deceive or protect anyone, that you don’t have any hidden motive or agenda that would collor your testimony.

ThirdCapabilities, that your credentials are excellent, that you do, indeed, have expertise, knowledge, skill, and capability in the area in which you are called to testify.

And fourthResults, that you have a good track record, that you have demonstrated your capabilities effectively in other situations in the past, that you produce results, and that there is good reason to believe that you will do so now.

How Credible Are YOU? — Questionnaire

People who are congruent act in harmony with their deepest values and beliefs. They walk their talk. When they feel they ought to do something, they do it. They’re not driven by extrinsic forces, including the opinions of others or the expediency of the moment.

What Gandhi thinks, what he feels, what he says, and what he does are all the same. You and I, we think one thing, feel another; say a third, and do a fourth, so we need notes and files to keep track.

How to Increase your Integrity

  • Do I genuinely try to be honest in all my interactions with others?
  • Do I typically “walk my talk”?
  • Am I clear on my values? Do I feel comfortable in standing up for them?
  • Am I open to the possibility of learning new truths that may cause me to rethink issues or even redefine my values?
  • Am I able to consistently make and keep commitments to myself?
  1. Don’t make too many commitments. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
  2. Treat a commitment you make to yourself with as much respect as you do the commitments you make to others.
  3. Don’t make commitments impulsively.

Core 2 – Intent

  • How often do I discount (or tax) what someone says because I am suspicious about the person’s intent?
  • What kind of tax is my organization paying because employees don’t trust management’s intent? What is the impact on speed and cost?
  • What kind of tax are we paying as a team because we are suspicious of one another’s motives?
  • What kind of tax am I paying because people question my own intent?
  • What can I do to improve and better communicate my intent?


Motive is your reason for doing something. It’s the “why” that motivates the “what.”

Companies worldwide recognize the importance of caring.

Clearly, motive matters, and the motive of caring will do more than anything else to build credibility and trust. But what id you genuinely don’t care? What if your real motive is profit or accumulation or recognition — period?

If you don’t care, that’s fine. However, understand THAT YOU WILL PAY A TAX!


This grows out of motive. Agenda that generally inspires the greatest trust is seeking mutual benefit.

The opposite of mutual benefit agenda is self-serving agenda: “I want to win — period.”


Typically, 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.

How to Improve Intent?

  • In an interaction with a child: Are my actions motivated by genuine caring and love? Am I really seeking the best interests of this child? Am I humble enough to admit it if I am wrong? Or am I really trying to impose my will on this child?
  • In an interaction with a spouse: Am I sincerely listening to what my spouse has to say? Am I genuinely open to his/her influence? Do I understand where he/she is coming from? Or am I focused on explaining my point of view, being right, or getting my way?
  • In an interaction with a work team: Am I quick to see and acknowledge the contribution of every team member? Am I focused on a “win” for the entire team? Or am I primarily focused on my own “win” — on being the “hero,” on being recognized for my own ideas?
  • In a business deal: Do I genuinely want what’s best for us both? Do I really understand what constitutes a “win” for the other party? Have I clearly thought through and can I express what constitutes a “win” for me? Am I open to synergy and third alternatives?

Work Related

  1. Why am I feeling unappreciated and undervalued?
  2. Why do I think they don’t see the good work I do?
  3. What makes me think they’re focused on the rising stars?
  4. Why do I think he gets more work than me?
  5. Why do I want to talk to the boss about it?

Choose Abundance

  • When I’m in the middle of a negotiation, do I really believe it’s possible to come up with a solution that will provide benefit for us both — or deep down, do I believe that the other person can gain benefit only at my expensive?
  • When I’m in a meeting and ideas are being tossed around, do I really believe there’s enough credit and recognition for everyone — or do I feel like someone is going to get it, and i want to make sure that someone is me?
  • Do I believe that if I love other people, my own supply of love will be replenished — or diminished?
  • Do I believe that there’s room for other people to see things differently than I do…….and still be right?
  • Do I believe that, whatever my economic circumstances, I can share with and benefit others?

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