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Published Articles by David Balovich

Title: Trust Involves Character
Published in: Creditworthy News
Date: 11/20/02
 
I have often written about character and how important it is in the credit process.

Character is defined as a willingness to do something, provide information, pay the bill, etc. It is also about trust. Now Iím talking about being trustworthy, not about trusting others and there is a difference. There is certainly a relationship between the two concepts but a decision to trust another is a choice, not an obligation. Being trustworthy, however, is a very important aspect of good character.  If we want customers to be trustworthy then we should always act in a manner to be worthy of trust.

Trust entails two distinct qualities: Character and competence.

The attribute most widely associated with trustworthy behavior is integrity. This vital aspect of good character is demonstrated through conscientious honesty and moral courage. If we want customers to trust our organization, or us, they must believe that we will consistently do the right thing, regardless of circumstances or pressures.

Character also includes accountability and fairness. Customers trust those who accept responsibility for their choices and donít pass blame to others for their actions or decisions. It is also important to be regarded as fair when making decisions or taking action especially when they are not favorable.

In business today, confidence in character is not enough to justify trust. Trust also involves the conviction that the person or organization will successfully do what is expected. This concept requires ability, knowledge and judgment as well as a belief that the person or organization will be reliable and responsive. Reliability is established through diligence and follow-through while responsiveness involves respectful communication and demonstrated concern.

The best method to insure that we, as credit professionals, practice and maintain the qualities of character and maintain that atmosphere of trust with our customer is to develop sound credit and collection policy and procedure.

Policy is the organizations position statement. It explains the organizationís position on a subject and why thereís a rule about it. It informs both the internal and external customer how the organization intends to conduct itself.

Procedures supplement the policy guidelines with specifics on ďhow toĒ carry out the organizationís policies. Procedures outline the steps that employees are expected to take and the sequence in which to perform those steps. They may also include the consequences of failure to comply.

Written policy and procedures provide the road map necessary to develop character traits to enable all of us to maintain the qualities of trustworthiness. We cannot expect customers to maintain those qualities that we do not possess.

I wish you well.

This information is provided as information only and not legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from a competent, licensed attorney, in good standing with the state bar association.


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