The Trusted Advisor book covers trust-based relationships in a very systematic way, presents a trust process-model and describes it in action. 

The trust process-model has 5 stages (engage, listen, frame, envision and commit) and provides useful insights

The book is structured in 3 major parts: 


Part 1 – Perspectives on trust

Part 2 – The structure of trust building

Part 3 – Putting trust to work


Part 1 – Perspectives on trust


1) What would be the benefits if your clients /colleagues  trusted you more? What are the primary characteristics of a trusted advisor?

2) What is a Trusted Advisor? (What do great trusted advisors all seem to do?)

3) Earning Trust (What are the dynamics of trusting and being trusted?)

4) How to give advice (How do you ensure your advice is listened to?)

5) The rules of Romance: Relationship building (What are the principles of building strong relationships?)

6) The importance of mindsets (What attitude must you have to be effective?)

7) Sincerity or technique? (Do you really have to care for those you advise?)

Part 2 – The structure of trust building 

8) The trust equation (What are the four key components that determine the extent of trust?)

9) The development of trust (What are the 5 stages of trust-building?)

10) Engagement (How do you get clients to initiate discussions with you?)

11) The art of listening (How can you improve your listening skills?)

12) Framing the issue (How can you help clients look at their issues in a fresh way?)

13) Envisioning an alternate reality (How can you help clients clarify what they’re really after?)

14) Commitment(How do you ensure clients are willing to do what it takes to solve their problems?)

Part 3 – Putting trust to work 

15) What’s so hard about all this? (Why are truly trust-based relationships so scarce?)

16) Different client types (How do you deal with clients of differing types?)

17) The Lieutenant Columbo approach (What can we learn from an unorthodox winner?)

18) The role of trust in getting hired (How do you create trust at the outset of a relationship?)

19) Building trust on the current assignment (How can you conduct your assignment in a way that adds to trust?)

20) Re-earning trust away from the current assignment (How can we build trust when you’re not working on an assignment?)

21) The case of cross-selling (Why is cross-selling so hard, and what can be done about it?)

22) The Quick-impact list to gain trust (What are the key things you should do first?)


The quick impact list to gain trust includes:


·         Listen to everything

·         Empathise

·         Note what the other person is feeling

·         Build a shared agenda

·         Take a personal risk

·         Ask about a related area

·         Ask great questions

·         Give away ideas

·         Return calls fast

·         Relax your mind


The approach also develops a Trust Equation:


       T = C + R + I  





T= trustworthiness

C=credibility ( words)

R=reliability.  (action)

I =intimacy.    (emotions)

S= self orientation. ( motives)



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