What is the link between self-orientation and trustworthiness?

I’ve been lucky this year to learn from people who are skilled at talent coaching, design thinking, change communications, organizational effectiveness and more.

They all share one personality trait: Low self-orientation.

They work to avoid making any part of the process about themselves. In fact, their actions are almost hidden as they guide others to a solution.

This article looks at self-orientation, which is a part of the trust equation in The Trusted Advisor. When “your level of self-orientation is low, you can pay attention to someone else. If you pay attention to someone, they experience that as caring. If someone thinks you care about them, they are likely to trust you.”

So simple.

Yet, it can be easy to fall into high self-orientation mode where “your attention is focused on yourself and others become acutely aware of it and infer that you do not care about them. Rightly or wrongly, they then decide you are untrustworthy.”

As (one version) of the old saying goes, “be interested, not interesting.”