Kevin D Thompson – Trust/Care/Standard - Information Screens

Trust/Care/Standard - Information Screens

Trust/Care/Standard - Information Screens

What is this?

Trust/Care/Standard Information Screens are a human communication concept which helps us understand why our information, suggestions or direct orders do not seem to "get through" to the person we are talking to.

Why is this important?

When we understand these communication inhibitors well, we are in a position to do something about them. This is a problem for nearly all of us because we do not normally approach others with a recognition that these screens are operating in the other person - and they are operating all of the time. (They are of course, operating in us at all times as well...)

These three screens seem to operate independently of one another. They are basically go, no-go questions our mind asks itself regarding the other person (or source of information ie. television news organization etc.). The three questions are:


     1. Can I trust this person (or source)?

     2. Does this person (or source) care about me as a person?

     3. Does this person (or source) have standards that are "as good as" or "better than" my own?


Not much explanation is needed for the first screen is there? We naturally evaluate the trustworthiness of others and rate it somewhere between Explicit or Unrestricted Trust and Zero or No Trust.

The second screen adds a level of complexity in that caring about me "as a person" is different than caring about me as a prospective customer, boss, or any number of other roles we "play" or adopt in life's changing situations. Genuine caring about us is outside and irrespective of our roles - and it is the measure by which we determine how much someone cares for us.

The  third screen is a true wild card. The standards by which we measure other people (and are ourselves measured) are potentially varied without limit. The standards by which we will be measured as a provider of information, a suggestion or a specific directive are chosen by the person to whom we are talking - and there is no way to know what the parameters will be. You have probably heard a great many examples of I remember from earlier in my sales career sounded this way: "After you have been with the Company for 6 months we will let you in on what we are talking about." - said to me by a service technician who had no time for short-term salespeople at the company. The way we dress, the way we speak, what kind of car we drive...there are simply too many "measuring sticks" to know how you are being judged in the moment.

The extent to which these screens are collectively "open" or "closed" has a direct impact on the amount of information that is allowed to pass into the other person's mind with "approval". In fact, even though a case may be may be made that information is still entering the other person's mind (without "approval"), many times this is not really happening. Why? Because the person we are talking to may be distracted by internal conversations such as "I really do NOT trust this person - they did such and such...!" that drown out our information causing it to be lost.

The process of building rapport and a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with someone usually opens these screens more and more over time - provided trust is not betrayed, selfishness does not spoil things and we do not find egregious differences in one another. This is how influence is developed - and it is generally time-consuming.

Persuasion involves working around these screens and allows persuasion of people without the need for trust, genuine caring or measuring up to another person's standards. This is central to what I teach people - and it is done by removing the need for trust, caring or measuring up to the standards of others - although I encourage building trust with others and genuinely caring about others most emphatically.

Persuasion depends on our ability to help another person learn new things for their self, and allow their self-interests to be satisfied by their own new get another person to want something for their self.