In this Expert Insight Interview, Jerry Michalski discusses the concepts of trust and mistrust. Jerry Michalski is the curator of the world’s most extensive mind map, Guide to the World in Context, tech visionary, keynote speaker, and an expert on trust and mistrust.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- The fundamental principles of trust
- How we have come to mistrust our institutions
- The potential solution to widespread mistrust
Principles of Trust
When people set out to build trust, they often overlook its fundamental principle: being consistent, predictable, and simply doing what you say you will do. Jerry Michalski doesn’t deal with building high-trust teams and developing trust in interactions. Although he obviously knows a thing or two about these things, he primarily focuses on trust and mistrust in institutional design.
This shows up for him in things like the compulsory education system and Wikipedia. Years ago, he met John Taylor Gatto, a retired New York high-school teacher, who talked to him about the hidden curriculum of schooling, which is all about mistrust. At this point, Jerry realized that we had designed our institutions from the standpoint of mistrust.
A Flaw in the System
We have designed our institutions in this way because the average person has a legitimate worldview that says most people are just out for themselves, that life is nasty, brutish, and short, and that we have to design our systems to protect ourselves against the bad actors.
On the other hand, Jerry Michalski believes that most people would like to help and make things better for others. He believes that when we design the systems against the bad actors first, we separate everybody else and cut the genius out of the room.
There’s an excellent reason why people mistrust institutions such as the government, and it is partly because most of the institutions we’re used to dealing with do not trust us. They are designed to assume that we are out to get the most we possibly can greedily.
Most of the solutions to this problem presented by academics and experts either create novel institutions that make us feel queasy and scared or don’t even need institutionalization, instead suggesting we take back responsibility for some things and cooperate through trust.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.