I want to talk to you about
how to build and rebuild trust,
because it’s my belief that trust
is the foundation for everything we do,
and that if we can learn
to trust one another more,
we can have unprecedented human progress.
But what if trust is broken?
What if your CEO is caught on video,
disparaging an employee?
What if your employees experience
a culture of bias, exclusion and worse?
What if there’s a data breach,
and it feels an awful lot like a cover-up
than seriously addressing it?
And most tragically,
what if a technological fail
leads to the loss of human life?
If I was giving this talk six months ago,
I would have been wearing an Uber T-shirt.
I’m a Harvard Business School professor,
but I was super attracted
to going to an organization
that was metaphorically
and perhaps quite literally on fire.
I had read everything
that was written in the newspaper,
and that was precisely what drew me
to the organization.
This was an organization
that had lost trust
with every constituent that mattered.
But there’s a word about me
that I should share.
My favorite trait is redemption.
I believe that there is a better
version of us around every corner,
and I have seen firsthand
how organizations and communities
and individuals change
at breathtaking speed.
I went to Uber with the hopes
that a turnaround there
could give license to the rest of us
who might have narrower versions
of their challenges.
But when I got to Uber,
I made a really big mistake.
I publicly committed
to wearing an Uber T-shirt every day
until every other employee
was wearing an Uber T-shirt.
I had clearly not thought that through.
It was 250 days
of wearing an Uber T-shirt.
Now I am liberated from that commitment,
as I am back at HBS,
and what I’d like to do is share with you
how far I have taken that liberty,
which, it’s baby steps,
but I would just say I’m on my way.
Now, trust, if we’re going to rebuild it,
we have to understand its component parts.
The component parts of trust
are super well understood.
There’s three things about trust.
If you sense that I am being authentic,
you are much more likely to trust me.
If you sense that I have
real rigor in my logic,
you are far more likely to trust me.
And if you believe that my empathy
is directed towards you,
you are far more likely to trust me.
When all three
of these things are working,
we have great trust.
But if any one of these three gets shaky,
if any one of these three wobbles,
trust is threatened.
Now here’s what I’d like to do.
I want each of us to be able
to engender more trust tomorrow,
literally tomorrow, than we do today.
And the way to do that is to understand
where trust wobbles for ourselves
and have a ready-made
prescription to overcome it.
So that’s what I would like
to do together.
Would you give me some sense
of whether or not you’re here voluntarily?
Yeah. OK. Alright. Awesome.
OK. So —
it’s just super helpful feedback.
So the most common wobble is empathy.
The most common wobble
is that people just don’t believe
that we’re mostly in it for them,
and they believe
that we’re too self-distracted.
And it’s no wonder.
We are all so busy
with so many demands on our time,
it’s easy to crowd out the time and space
that empathy requires.
For Dylan to be Dylan,
that takes real time.
And for us, if we have too much to do,
we may not have that time.
But that puts us into a vicious cycle,
because without revealing empathy,
it makes everything harder.
Without the benefit of the doubt of trust,
it makes everything harder,
and then we have less and less time
for empathy, and so it goes.
So here’s the prescription:
identify where, when and to whom
you are likely to offer your distraction.
That should trace pretty perfectly
to when, where and to whom
you are likely to withhold your empathy.
And if in those instances,
we can come up with a trigger
that gets us to look up,
look at the people right in front of us,
listen to them,
deeply immerse ourselves
in their perspectives,
then we have a chance of having
a sturdy leg of empathy.
And if you do nothing else,
please put away your cell phone.
It is the largest distraction magnet
yet to be made,
and it is super difficult to create
empathy and trust in its presence.
That takes care of the empathy wobblers.
Logic wobbles can come in two forms.
It’s either the quality of your logic
or it’s your ability
to communicate the logic.
Now if the quality
of your logic is at risk,
I can’t really help you with that.
It’s like, not in this much time.
But fortunately, it’s often the case
that our logic is sound,
but it’s our ability to communicate
the logic that is in jeopardy.
Super fortunately,
there’s a very easy fix to this.
If we consider that there are
two ways to communicate in the world,
and Harvard Business School professors
are known for two-by-twos —
nonsense, it’s the triangle that rocks.
If we consider that there are
two ways to communicate in the world,
and the first one is when
you take us on a journey,
a magnificent journey
that has twists and turns
and mystery and drama,
until you ultimately get to the point,
and some of the best
communicators in the world
communicate just like this.
But if you have a logic wobble,
this can be super dangerous.
So instead, I implore you,
start with your point
in a crisp half-sentence,
and then give your supporting evidence.
This means that people
will be able to get access
to our awesome ideas,
and just as importantly,
if you get cut off before you’re done …
ladies —
If you get cut off before you’re done,
you still get credit for the idea,
as opposed to someone else coming in
and snatching it from you.
You just gave me goosebumps.
The third wobble is authenticity,
and I find it to be the most vexing.
We as a human species
can sniff out in a moment,
literally in a moment,
whether or not someone
is being their authentic true self.
So in many ways,
the prescription is clear.
You don’t want to have
an authenticity wobble? Be you.
And that is super easy to do
when you’re around people
who are like you.
But if you represent
any sort of difference,
the prescription to “be you”
can be super challenging.
I have been tempted
at every step of my career,
tempted personally
and tempted by coaching of others,
to mute who I am in the world.
I’m a woman of super strong opinions,
with really deep convictions,
direct speech.
I have a magnificent wife,
and together, we have such crazy ambition.
I prefer men’s clothes
and comfortable shoes.
Thank you, Allbirds.
In some contexts, this makes me different.
I hope that each person here
has the beautiful luxury
of representing difference
in some context in your life.
But with that privilege
comes a very sincere temptation
to hold back who we are,
and if we hold back who we are,
we’re less likely to be trusted.
And if we’re less likely to be trusted,
we’re less likely to be given
stretch assignments.
And without those stretch assignments,
we’re less likely to get promoted,
and so on and so on
until we are super depressed
by the demographic tendencies
of our senior leadership.
And it all comes back
to our being our authentic selves.
So here’s my advice.
Wear whatever makes you feel fabulous.
Pay less attention to what you think
people want to hear from you
and far more attention to what
your authentic, awesome self needs to say.
And to the leaders in the room,
it is your obligation
to set the conditions that not only
make it safe for us to be authentic
but make it welcome,
make it celebrated,
cherish it for exactly what it is,
which is the key for us
achieving greater excellence
than we have ever known is possible.
So let’s go back to Uber.
What happened at Uber?
When I got there,
Uber was wobbling all over the place.
Empathy, logic, authenticity
were all wobbling like crazy.
But we were able to find super effective,
super quick fixes for two of the wobbles.
I’ll give you an illustration of empathy.
In the meetings at Uber,
it was not uncommon
for people to be texting one another …
about the meeting.
I had never seen anything like it.
It may have done many things,
but it did not create a safe,
empathetic environment.
The solution though, super clear:
technology, off and away.
And that forced people to look up,
to look at the people in front of them,
to listen to them,
to immerse themselves
in their perspectives
and to collaborate in unprecedented ways.
Logic was equally wobbly,
and this was because
the hypergrowth of the organization
meant that people, managers
were getting promoted
again and again and again.
Soon, they were put in positions
that they had no business being in.
Their positions outstripped
their capability,
and it was not their fault.
The solution: a massive influx
of executive education
that focused specifically on logic,
on strategy and leadership.
It gave people the rigor
of the quality of their logic,
and it turned a whole lot
of triangles, right-side up,
so people were able to communicate
effectively with one another.
The last one, authenticity,
I’ll say it’s still mighty wobbly,
but honestly, that doesn’t
make Uber very different
from all of the other companies
I’ve seen in Silicon Valley and beyond.
It is still much easier
to coach people to fit in.
It is still much easier to reward people
when they say something
that you were going to say,
as opposed to rewarding people
when they say something
entirely different
than what you were going to say.
But when we figure out this,
when we figure out
how to celebrate difference
and how to let people bring
the best version of themselves forward,
well holy cow, is that the world
I want my sons to grow up in.
And with the collection of people here,
it would be a privilege
to lock arms with you
and go ahead and rebuild trust
in every corner of the globe.
Thank you very much.

How to build (and rebuild) trust | Frances Frei
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100 thoughts on “How to build (and rebuild) trust | Frances Frei

  • May 25, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    це англійська ???

  • May 25, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    "literally on fire" thats when you quit the video about this hippie, that supposedly went to harvard, but doesnt know how to use the word "literally"

  • May 25, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    That is a useful video when trust between people is getting smaller especially in nowadays.

  • May 25, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    To much over-generalized, over-intellectualized, new-age babble

  • May 25, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Trust me EARTH IS not a spinning ball

  • May 25, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    How about women stop crying wolf about every imaginary grievance.
    Perhaps then ye will gain your credibility and trust back.

  • May 25, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    I needed this so much today. Thx💖

  • May 25, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    she’s such a beautiful soul

  • May 25, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Step 1) Don't bother; you never have to rebuild it if you never convince someone to build it up in the first place.

  • May 25, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    We need ClockChain!

  • May 25, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    you simply can't

  • May 25, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    I always experience that people HATE logic when it's not for them, but against them. People hate being told that they're wrong. And then they won't trust you because you don't agree with them all the time. People easily forget that everyone needs a 'mirror'…

  • May 25, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Have a drink every time she says "super".

  • May 25, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    in this crowded and too-busy day and age, not only do we need to hear the strangeness, we need to make room for it in our square, crystalline, stuck monotony (platforms, time, real resources). The drawback is that same unpredictability can heighten anxiety. A sense of balance and perceptivity are going to be critical skills, in leadership and otherwise, going forward. (Please explain to me why these skills aren't being taught in public schools.)

  • May 25, 2018 at 6:38 pm


  • May 25, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    My favorite trait is redemption too. I hope this goes viral.

  • May 25, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Great points!

  • May 25, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    I really like the subject and her presentation anyone can understand… Thank you

  • May 25, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    I've never waited so long for the point… And I still don't have it.

  • May 25, 2018 at 8:11 pm


  • May 25, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    As entrepreneur trust in yourself and in your team is basic to success. Check out eMINDSCLUB for business support and connections.

  • May 25, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Brava. Wonderful

  • May 26, 2018 at 12:16 am

    I really believe the title of this talk should be "Lez Be Honest".

  • May 26, 2018 at 2:24 am

    I don't trust you so

  • May 26, 2018 at 3:00 am

    Was this clickbait? Clearly this doesn’t show me how to build and rebuild in fortnite.

  • May 26, 2018 at 4:08 am


  • May 26, 2018 at 4:39 am

    Please give Translate:Azerbaijan

  • May 26, 2018 at 7:02 am

    I must be missing some context…

  • May 26, 2018 at 7:04 am

    Public relations and communications

  • May 26, 2018 at 7:42 am

    She has some quality points but the presentation would have been much better without her feminist impositions at 8:40 (mansplaining…) and at 11:10 ("super depressed by the demographic tendencies of our senior leadership"). It think it was very inappropriate for this discussion.

  • May 26, 2018 at 8:44 am

    I really appreciated this Ted talk! It was especially lovely to feel like this professor is authentic as she speaks! Brava! Exciting to think what a world where there is real trust among people would be like!

  • May 26, 2018 at 9:10 am

    just when i lost trust. TED uploaded this video. Never had i needed this video the most. Thank you.

  • May 26, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    powerful message

  • May 26, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    This guy has man boobs

  • May 26, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Put down my phone? But don’t you want me to finish the video? Ok TED

  • May 26, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    The best way to rebuild trust is not to abuse it in the first place!

  • May 26, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Eminim güzel bir konuşmadır ama keşke Türkçe altyazılar daha çabuk eklense böylelikle daha iyi anlayabilirim umarım dikkate alırsınız

  • May 26, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Show this to Rust players.

  • May 27, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Trust is Pathos, Logos, and Ethos? Wow.

  • May 27, 2018 at 2:58 am

    Hi I’m Dara Somnang magic i like your video 👍❤️❤️❤️💐🇰🇭

  • May 27, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Forgiveness and letting go can be difficult enough but rebuilding is often risky if time , money , health and identity are at stake ! The history and the nature of the relationship is also an important consideration .

  • May 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    This is priceless advice ❤️❤️

  • May 27, 2018 at 4:40 pm


  • May 27, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Haha, i change my behavior all time to feed back others
    Not everyone has the exact same definition
    Im also still very much myself, and give permission at different levels of my non verbal behavior for people im talking with my not be awake of for them to be them self too 🙂

  • May 28, 2018 at 12:18 am

    Thank you–totally need this right now.

  • May 28, 2018 at 12:57 am


  • May 28, 2018 at 2:44 am

    I believe that trust comes from acting authentic rather than being authentic, if you state your ideas clearly (logically) with confidence people will tend to trust you. So it's not necessary to be yourself to be trusted just have confidence in presenting yourself and your ideas.

  • May 28, 2018 at 3:37 am

    Is it possible to have a TED talk without stupid feminist talking points thrown in?

  • May 28, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Get meechonmars to do a tedtalk!

  • May 28, 2018 at 3:59 am


  • May 28, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Fuckin PC garbage.

  • May 28, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    I actually like her, I was not expecting to.

  • May 29, 2018 at 2:19 am

    What a wonderful message.

  • May 29, 2018 at 6:42 am

    I think she may be a lesbian.

  • May 29, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Honestly I didn't get much but one thing that's trust….via authenticity and Sincerity!!!

  • May 29, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Hard to be authentic when your more conservative views go against the majority's and they tend to have a very low tolerance for opposing views.

  • May 29, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    I appreciate her delivery… Her tone was calming… Great speech!

  • May 30, 2018 at 2:39 am

    what wobble means in this video?

  • May 30, 2018 at 3:24 am

    I have really bad trust issue when it comes to my relationship and he hasn’t done anything to betray that. All he does is love me and be faithful and I don’t know why I have such bad trust issues

  • May 30, 2018 at 3:35 am

    Uber was a real life example of the Peter principle?

  • May 30, 2018 at 9:56 am

    She is so desperate to emote that she comes as ironically untrustworthy and creepy

  • May 30, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    All I'm hearing is SUPER…

  • May 30, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Ok .. give me a home …and ill join ur thing wtf ???? Do u belive this ?

  • June 1, 2018 at 2:27 am

    Like I really want to sit through 15 minutes listening to this woman say something that can be summarized in 4. Synopsis?

  • June 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    The inverted triangle is wrong. It's a pyramid, while the other is an iceberg, then what changes is the order of discovery, not the orientation.

  • June 5, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Will never trust anyone of House Frei

  • June 8, 2018 at 2:26 am

    "If you get cut off before you're done…ladies." She has to mention that she's married to a woman and that she likes wearing men's clothing? Will she celebrate my differing opinion and the best version of me that says those points were completely unnecessary and detracted from what would have been a great talk?

  • June 11, 2018 at 7:14 am

    I loved this. Even though it was from a lesbian Loui Anderson

  • June 12, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    This Ron White standup bit isn't funny at all.

  • June 14, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    I need to know how to rebuild the trust for myself when I go through a lot of the failes. I have been listened carefully for the whole video. But I think I haven't caught any useful information for me. Maybe I need to relisen it.

  • June 23, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Fantastic talk here. I know many companies that need to see this.

  • August 10, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Really weak! Avoid storytelling in case you get cut off? – weak! (got a chip on her shoulder?) We can tell if someone is inauthentic in a moment? – so….con artists? – weak!

  • August 17, 2018 at 5:58 am

    Great talk, great EXAMPLE of Walking the Talk. Thanks

  • August 19, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    What if you want to be like other, but you're too messed up to be authentic?

  • August 28, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Not quite get the point at 8:40. Any help?

  • September 21, 2018 at 9:24 am

    This ugly fat man is sometimes right.

  • October 3, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Authenticity, Logic, Empathy = rebranding of ethos, logos, pathos

  • October 28, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I don't make sense why people applause when she says "ladies…" in the middle. Is there a metaphor or something behind it? Someone help me to understand.

  • November 11, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Hi dicksucker

  • November 25, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    what does she mean when she says identify where, when and to whom do you offer that distraction? what does she mean by distraction?

  • November 26, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Great talk!!

  • November 29, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    One question! How to encourage to bring your authenticity and at the same time tell you to follow some rules,has to be logical, straight to the point and don't look at your phones, isn't it like I will accept your authenticity only if you follow those rules?

  • December 3, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Great madam

  • January 2, 2019 at 3:27 am

    Say “super” one more time!

  • January 2, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    I need arabic translation please 💔

  • January 17, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    I have a very serious question: She said, to the leaders, it is our obligations to set the conditions that not only make it safe for us to be authentic but make it welcomed and celebrated. In my Team, I am all about authencity, honesty and showing acceptance to people showing their true self. But how do I create this condition that it's safe to be authentic? How can I give the space my people need to be authentic?

  • January 29, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Not only trust, but love.

  • January 30, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you for this great video, it was very informative.

  • February 20, 2019 at 10:36 am

    the communication skills are great but can she be trusted for being a part of a company like Uber…couldnt she choose a better organisation…and she actually said that more or less all companies are like Uber…really

  • March 22, 2019 at 10:39 am

    ive broken my trust with my mother 2 times now so now its harder for me to rebuild my trust with her again (help)

  • March 31, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    I didn't think this would be a huge problem, but I answered a question of my girl and I have told her that I was tempted to see girl's butts, but I never watch them, I don't check other girls out. She doesn't trust me anymore and thinks that I'm not fully into her, I have been showing her my love towards her since day one, but she thinks that I will cheat on her, idk what to do, I have told her that I would never cheat on her, I'm not like those guys, I'm not a pervert, and Isigksisididkisid idk what to do.

  • May 13, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    My trust was broken as my mum kept saying disturbing stuff, kept upsetting me by bringing up rotten topics death and illness. Yesterday i stood up to her and screamed at her to stop. I notice that it was mothers day only after rthe fact, Our relationship has disintegrated. I feel she is punishing me. I was heartbroken. I want a relationship but every meeting I fear she will bring more topics up. I actually avoid family gatherings with her as she keeps doing this in front of young and vulnerable children. She is macabre. No empathy for the poor little boy who was sick IMO this is undesirable behavior.To make it worse ,I have a chronic condition I chose not to get treated as the doctor was unsympathetic fortunately I get sick once a week rather than three. I am asking her is this why. Running helped with my pain and 6 years 10k a day should surely say something. I didn't fake this and I just couldn't listen to it., managing it is sufficient. I work from home and that isn't too bad. Theres something wrong with a person that cant talk about happy things. As a person I am well adjusted but it hurt. I cant imagine her not doing this as she did it in front of my nephew. He had so much darkness in his life. I accept it is a thing she does but if it weren't for others I wouldnt be able to take it at all.I am al;so anorexic and trying to beat it but all my attempts lead to more resentment. I fear one day she will be gone and this will be all that I remember.

  • May 22, 2019 at 5:23 am

    what a goddamn legend, but that is not close to trust

  • June 30, 2019 at 12:45 am

    How can you trust someone that violated it in the first place? For me, once that trust is broken, it is virtually impossible to regain it. 90% of the people I work with, including leadership cannot be trusted.

  • August 3, 2019 at 5:05 am

    you cant earn trust, trust is given to you and you cant rebuild it once its broken you rarely can get it back
    sad but true

  • August 30, 2019 at 1:49 am

    Was that a sexual reference?


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