If your inbox is like mine, it is suddenly flooded with messages from companies proclaiming their support about equity and inclusion. A few months ago, everyone was writing about how they were here for me during the virus, then later, how they had re-opened and again were ready to serve.

We discussed this sudden flow of information in the managerial communication class that I am teaching now and considered these messages through Daniel Diermeier’s Trust Radar. He contends that to build trust, you must incorporate four factors: transparency (being honest about what you do and do not know), expertise or competence, commitment (often demonstrated through the involvement of senior management) and empathy. My class believes that a fifth component is required: timeliness. The same message that arrives too late is far less effective.

Think about the Radar when you are composing messages – not just in a crisis situation, but as part of your ongoing communication. When you consider your words through this lens, you’re far more likely to hit the target and foster the trust that caused you to prepare the message in the first place.

Source: Reputation Rules by Daniel Diermeier, 2011

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