Trust Us: Ask for Help

February 2, 2022

* 80+ NPS on trust given by CG members to this community 
* 40% fewer pandemic deaths in countries where citizens trust each other 
* 63% rate of self-initiated asking for help (AFH rate) in 2021 led to many promotions and transformations in the CG community and deepened trust (leading to the 80+ NPS cited above)

Trust is powerful, but how do we create trust?

We feel it when we experience it and can measure its presence or lack thereof.

We can describe the benefits.

But the actual creation process remains a mystery, including for many academics.

My mother — Chic to her friends and family — stumbled on the answer to this very hard question more than 60 years ago.

She discovered that if someone asks for help in a small council or forum, then that simple act triggers a trust environment. 

Many of you know this because you deepened the levels of trust in our community last year by *initiating* asking for help. 

We had a historic jump in 2021 from 15% to 63% in the rate of self-initiated asking for help – the “AFH” rate. 

I’m working with three new moderators right now to build trust on new councils. They are  wondering how they can quickly build trust and help their members achieve these benefits.

The trick is to build trust, you need trust already.  So, in a new council, members have to be willing to give trust *before* it is created. 

And the single best way to do that is for a member to ask for help on an important and difficult issue. 

But that means a new member on a new council needs to ask for help *before* trust has been built. 

Yes, it’s a paradox. 

Yet, many of you willingly embrace this paradox, ask for help, and see the benefits in promotions, impact, and gratification.

Your embrace of this paradox is also why our trust NPS scores are so high. 

If Americans embraced this paradox like you do, and asked for help like you do, and trusted each other the way you do, we would have a much more civil society and, among other benefits, hundreds of thousands fewer pandemic deaths, according to a new global study (requires Financial Times subscription).

Final point: our longtime goal is to reach 100% AFH. 

I’d love to achieve that in 2022.

For if we achieve 100% AFH, it means we will have deepened our trust for each other even more, allowing all you to ask for help even more, and thereby growing your careers and companies even more.

It all starts with the simple act of asking.

So, please trust each other:

Ask for help.

– Phyl 

Black History Month Book Recommendation

I highly recommend a new book by journalist Howard French, Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War.

I have studied Africa for decades and spent time in Nigeria in the 1980s. 

Yet, this book reframed how I understand Africa’s role in the development of the modern world, of the Enlightenment, of the growth of democracy, of the Industrial Revolution, and capitalism.

I highly recommend it.

And I’m not alone.

So do both Henry Louis Gates, the well-known Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University…(he calls it a “powerfully written, paradigm-shifting work that places Africans & the descendants of enslaved people brought from that continent at the heart of the histories of both the Americas and Europe. A terrific read!”)…


…the American Enterprise Institute (a decidedly non-liberal think tank) as you can see in this Wall Street Journal review (requires WSJ subscription).

About the Author

Phyl Terry

Phyl Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., launched the company’s flagship leadership program – The Councils – in 2002 with a fellow group of Internet pioneers from Amazon, Google, and others. Thousands of leaders from the Internet world have come together in the last 15 years to learn the art of asking for help and to support each other to build better, more customer-centric products, services, and companies.

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