December 2

Episode 62: Talking Trust with Patrick Galvin


Mike sat down with Patrick Galvin, a business owner who coaches and discusses business focusing on trust. They discuss both Galvin’s business and Rotary International, a civic club that has influenced the foundation of Galvin’s company. 

Patrick Galvin’s Biography

Patrick Galvin is the co-founder of the Galivnizing Group, a learning and development company focused on trust-based relationship building. He is also a bestselling author of The Trusted Way, which is a follow-up to his previous book The Connector’s Way.

In This Episode, You’ll Learn…

  • Galvin’s books are parables, written as stories to give lessons to readers. He wanted to write about trust development. 
  • Trust is foundational. Galvin defines it as credibility built up over time. 
  • Parables work well because people connect with stories. You can get data online through a search result, but someone will remember a story much better than basic definitions. 
  • Rotary International is a large civic organization that Mike and Patrick are both involved with. It’s structured differently than many other clubs. You represent your profession, and the goal is to have a diversified club where many different professions are represented. 
  • The Rotary Four-Way Test came around in 1932 during the Great Depression from an individual struggling through it. He realized that if he wanted the reputation of being a trustworthy company, he prayed one day and wrote 24 words down (quoted below). It changed his company thoroughly, and his company became the most trustworthy cookware company. 
  • In Galvin’s new book, he tells the story of an individual who makes decisions that aren’t based on the Four-Way Test. He encounters many issues but eventually learns how to build a business on trust and improve it through that method. 
  • Service above Self is Rotary’s Motto. 
  • Galvin learned over time that his business should focus on relationships instead of marketing, as he previously believed. So, he established the Galvanizing Group to help others do so. He works with individuals in groups of 6-8. They have an online coaching program they use to help others succeed. 
  • You can find the Four-Way Test in an internet search and learn more about it. You don’t have to buy his book. 
  • Relationship building is what Galvin emphasizes. He asks listeners to focus on what relationship-building plan they have. What are the relationships that you have to get your success to happen? You might need to reach outside your network and many other things. Set big goals, and map them back to the relationships you have. 
  • Relationship building within the organization is a large part of the process. It’s not just about external relationships. 


  • If you have to say you’re a person with credibility, you’re probably still working on becoming a person with credibility. 
  • Trust is best measured by the daily interactions you have with the people around you. 
  • Rotary Four-Way Test: First Principle: Is it the truth? Second Principle: Is it fair to all concerned? Third Principle: Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Fourth Principle: Will it be beneficial to all concerned? 
  • Someone will do business with someone they know, like, and trust. 

Links & Resources Mentioned…

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Read The Transcript

Episode #62

Mike O'Neill: Welcome back to the Get Unstuck & On Target Podcast. I'm Mike O'Neill with Bench Builders and we specialize in helping leaders solve the tough people problems that are slowing their company's growth. Joining me today from Portland, Oregon is Patrick Galvin. Patrick is the co-founder of The Galvanizing Group, a learning and development company focused on trust-based relationship building. With a best-selling book series, a unique cohort coaching program and an online learning curriculum, The Galvanizing Group offers companies and teams, a methodical approach to improving loyalty, referrals and sales through better relationship building. Welcome Patrick. 

Patrick Galvin: Hey Mike, thank you so much for having me on. 

Mike O'Neill: Patrick I'm looking forward to this conversation because we had a great visit prior as we were kind of booking to get you on this podcast. And I was specifically interested in us spending some time about your latest book. The full title is the trusted way, a story about building a life and business of character. And as I understand, this is a follow-up to your bestseller that came out about five years ago. The connectors way. 

Patrick Galvin: That is correct, Mike. Yeah, the trusted way, is something I'm very excited about. It came out in June of this year, 2021. And my first book is the connector's way. A story about building business. One relationship at a time. Both of my books are parables. So they're lessons embedded in stories. And the story of the connectors way is of somebody who's trying to build a business through marketing and advertising, not succeeding very well. And through a series of mentors, he learned seven essential rules for building business. One relationship at a time. I have traveled around the country a lot since then talked to a lot of people who've read the book. Some people take those lessons, apply them and see a huge difference in their business. Others have not. And I've always been wondering, well, what's the difference. And usually it's that foundation of trust that when people layer on whatever relationship building activity and they are trusted by that customer, that prospect, that referral partner, it's going to work out really well for them. But if they're seen as just doing relationship. It can be perceived as manipulative, unless there is that foundation of trust. I wanted to lean into a story about trust development and we can get into why I chose rotary as my, as my example. And I based the, the trusted way around, Rotary's four way test.

Mike O'Neill: I am looking forward to discussing that. I like to go back to this notion of trust and that is how foundational it is. This is gonna be a little bit unfair question. I'm going to ask it nonetheless. Trust. How do you define trust. 

Patrick Galvin: You know, for me, it's, it's credibility really. And it's credibility built up over time. There's a lot of academic definitions. It's one of these things like, you know it when you have it and you certainly should feel it when you don't and it doesn't happen overnight. It's not this grand thing, I'm a person of integrity. If you have to say that you're a person of integrity, it means you're probably still working on being a person with integrity. So trust is best measured through those daily actions and activities you have with the people around you. Friends, family, and the people you do business with. And, you know, we all know people who we would trust with our lives based on that track record that they have with us of always coming through. And, sadly it's not taught in business schools. Some people have the good fortune of having parents or other folks who will, you know, indoctrinate them in the importance of it and show them what it means, but it is, it is foundational. And I just wish that it was, knowledge that was shared, on a more widespread basis, which is why I wrote the parable.

Mike O'Neill: You know, you'll use him parable for these first two books. What is it about parables that works so well for readers. 

Patrick Galvin: People connect with stories. So there's a lot of facts and figures out there. We are inundated with data. Right now you can go onto Google and get a much more complete definition of trust than the one I just gave you. You can get a data surrounding trust, and I could read that you could read that. And then if you were to test us on it tomorrow, it's like, okay, what was that stat on? How many. Maybe you'd remember if you have a good memory, but a story you're going to remember. So parables, I mean, think about the foundation, the textbooks of, of all the major religions. They're all basically teaching through parable, teaching through story because we connect what we're we go back to the neolithic times and sitting around the campfire, sharing those experiences and stories out in the hunt. And we haven't changed as a, as a species we remember. And are triggered by and our move to do things based on our own stories and the stories that we hear from others.

Mike O'Neill: Patrick, what brought us together originally was a rotary connection. The rotary club is an civic organization that is found all over the world. But may I share with our listeners if you don't know about rotary? It has 1.2 million members, as their website would say spread out over 35,000 clubs in over 220 countries. You're a Rotarian, I'm a Rotarian. We both have been in a presidential roles, but one of the things that when you join rotary and when you're invited to join rotary that I'm mindful of is the rotart club is structured differently than other civic clubs in a variety of ways. One, let me see if I want to say this, right. This would be a good test for me. And that is you are there to represent your profession. And the goal of a rotary club is to have a diversified club, such that there are multiple professions represented in the makeup of the membership. And as I understand the original rotary club, which was based in Chicago, the notion of rotary was, is that members would come together and they'd meet in their place of business and would rotate from business to business. Does that come close to your understanding of how rotary got its name? 

Patrick Galvin: You're a hundred percent right on that one or we've read from the same text. So, yes. 

Mike O'Neill: Well, I've been a Rotarian for a long time, but one of the things that in also instilled in Rotarian is this rotary four way test and you have married it up in the parable. Can you walk us through what the four way test is? 

Patrick Galvin: So the four way test has been around since 1932. And it came about because a gentlemen was, stepping into a very difficult role. 1932, the depths of the great depression. And he was a up and coming young executive who took on leadership of a company that was on the ropes. And he looked at his industry, saw that he couldn't beat his competition on price. Everyone had cut their prices during the depression. Couldn't beat his competition on product mix. His competitors had more products. But he saw an opening to become the most trusted, cooking products company in, in America, cooking ware company. And he realized that if he wanted to have that, that, that reputation for being the most ethical company, a lot of companies were cutting corners during the depression. He needed to have a simple series of guides to kind of help them out with that. So one day he's in his office, he was a man of faith. So he was praying and he came upon 24 words, split into four different parts on how to be a trusted person based on the things you think say or do he wrote it down. And it hasn't changed since that day that he wrote it down in 1932. And, it's very simple, 24 words. I can, I can share it with you. First principle, is it the truth? Second principle, is it fair to all concerned? Third principle, will it build goodwill and better friendships? And the fourth principle, will it be beneficial to all concerned? And before he announced this notion before everyone in his company said, I want to see how I do by the standard. And he said, it just absolutely changed his behavior over the course of a few months. And it made him make more trustworthy decisions. And he introduced it to his management team that represented various faith traditions. He wanted to make sure he wasn't imposing his own religion or moral values than others. And they all said, no, this is true to my faith. It's true to my beliefs. And long story short company got turned around over the course of a decade, became the most trusted cookware company in America. And this gentleman went on to become rotary international president. He gifted the four way test to rotary in 1952, gave it the copyright. And from there it flew around the world. So that's the, the history of the four way test. And personally it's made a huge impact on my life. I know we have a friend in common who, shared a story with both of us, how it changed his life. So very simple words. They certainly, I think can fall into that category of easier said than done when you really hold yourself to that standard, it can be challenging. 

Mike O'Neill: You know, you mentioned the, the four way test, Rotary clubs at some point during a meeting, the members are invited to recite that four way test. And so if you attend a weekly meeting, you're reciting that, is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? And would it be beneficial to all concerned? You're you're reciting that week in and week out in hopes that it begins to kinda percolate within become part of your DNA. You've taken this four way test. A very, very powerful means to kind of be a guide for any and all. And you've worked this into your book. Kind of for those who have not read the book and I'm encouraging people to do so. Kind of give us a little bit of feel for how does that work into the parable, in a way that we can relate to? 

Patrick Galvin: Well, it doesn't start out on a promising note for the main character in the book. The main character in the book is not living by the four way test. He's a very overconfident business school graduate who gets some venture capital financing, starts a company with the objective of making as much money as he can in the shortest amount of time. Corners cut. That's not, that's not on his radar screen. And he runs into some major difficulties. The mid point. I won't give you any spoilers on what happens to him, but, certainly not someone to be true. Either in his personal or in his professional life. And he actually gets into such hot water that he has a, kind of a revelation in the book that he needs to change his ways. And then through a series of mentors, many of whom are Rotarians. He actually learns from their experiences and from what they teach him about how each one of these principles can play out. He starts a new company, an ethically based company. And has, a very different experience in terms of, growth that's sustainable because it's grounded in trust. So I wanted to modernize the four way test it was developed in 1932. And I've talked to some younger Rotarians who said, you know, it was a different time back then. Is it really relevant? Well, the main character is in his twenties and he's running a technology company and really just look at the headlines, whether it's business politics, personal choices that people make that are not grounded in the sort of decision making that engender trust. The four way test this more necessary than ever. I mean, I think we are in a trust, challenged age. It's just, unfortunately, it's not taught. So this guy went to business school. He didn't learn it in his business school. I went to business school. I didn't learn it my business school either. You can read books on trust they're very convoluted. They're very academic sounding. They're very dry and you walk away and you don't, you don't remember them. So the, the, the power of the four-way test is its simplicity and its applicability. The key is to apply it. 

Mike O'Neill: Yes, it is. And we've recited it probably twice now, thus far, and for those who are listening, they could almost probably parrot it back, but it's the application. And the application can be both in your personal and your profession life. I know that this book has just been published. We're recording this in early November. So it's only been out for a relatively short period of time. It's gotta be gratifying when you do go to the effort of, of writing a book to be able to speak to people. Who've read the book and hear stories. Has that been your experience thus far? 

Patrick Galvin: Yes. And it's been really, the blessing of COVID has been the adoption of virtual by rotary clubs. So I've spoken, in Thailand and India and the four-way test is just as talked about at their meetings as they are in the United States. And really I get the sense of just its universal nature. And people love to share their stories. How they have used a four way test to make better decisions in their personal and professional lives. So it's been really inspiring because I'm, I'm drawing out some very inspiring stories and I'm also truly seeing how it's cross cultural. That, you know, the simplicity of it allows it to travel really, really well. And the biggest lift that I've gotten from this book is a couple of friends who were thinking about rotary, have read the book and have joined rotary. So mission accomplished. I, I was hoping I'd get some conversions along the way, and it has taken place. 

Mike O'Neill: Wonderful. I liked the expression and that is a blessing of COVID. We know that COVID has been horrific in so many ways. But there has been blessings that have come of that. You just mentioned one and that is, I'm a long-term Rotarian. So are you, we know that we are connected across the world, but we would be connected in large part by reading a monthly magazine or maybe going to the website. Or attending an international gathering of Rotarians all over the world, but COVID has enabled the technology, the technology we're using right now to be literally face-to-face with someone literally across the world, often in a different time zone, maybe, or maybe not sharing the same language, but the ability to connect. Embracing technology and to come to realization, boy, oh boy, it doesn't really matter where you are. We're all dealing with the same issues, but I love the point that you made. Rotary does not necessarily prescribe to any religion per se, but people from all vocations, all walks of life, all different can come together. When you step back and look at, are we unified in things such as the four way test. 

Patrick Galvin: And service above self? And this is basic cornerstone. We call them apple pie issues here. Good ethical concepts and principles. 

Mike O'Neill: Explain service above self please cause we didn't have not.

Patrick Galvin: So rotary is a service organization. I was membership chair of my club for a couple of years and people would say, Hey, if I joined rotary, is it going to be good for my business? The answer is yes. But the real answer is, but don't push that, don't push that. Join for service. Business will come over time, but if you join for business, you're not going to probably be in our club for very long, because people are going to let you know, we're not a networking group. We're not about passing leads. We're about serving the community both locally and internationally. Rotary international does wonderful, international work. So service above self is just a very simple way of saying. You know, that's what our focus is, is how do we help others locally, internationally, what have you? And when you work side by side with other Rotarians in your club and you get to know them, you get to trust them though, kind of going back to the original part of this conversation. What is trust? What trust is developed over time and you, it's not what people say, it's what they do. So, you know, it is great for business. Of course, it's great for business because you see what people's value systems are by their service above self. And, in the words of my friend, Bob Burg, who wrote the book, the Go-Giver at the end of the day, people want to do business with and refer business to those who they know, like, and trust. So there's no better place to develop relationships of trust than rotary.

Mike O'Neill: This may sound like a rotary infomercial.

Patrick Galvin: I'm sure rotary is okay with that. 

Mike O'Neill: I'm sure. I'm sure they are, but you know, let me kind of piggyback what you just said. And that is kind of the motto of service above self. The mission for, for rotary is we provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill and peace, through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. And so you can see how it has universality all throughout it. But Patrick, when you're not talking about your rotary experiences, you're running a very successful business. Can we talk a little bit about The Galvanizing Group I introduce as a learning and development company and you do some things that I think are a little bit different than I have seen before. The cohort coaching program in particular kind of caught my attention. Tell us a little more about what that is and how it works. 

Patrick Galvin: Well, our company has grown over time into the specialty area that we have, which is helping companies and individuals build trust-based relationships. I went to business school, studied marketing and advertising. And when I came out into the work world, I thought that's how you succeeded in a business to grow a business. Was you had good marketing, good advertising. And customers would flow in. I learned a very, different story when I was involved in my family's business and I was our director of marketing. And that was my focus, but business wasn't growing. And then I joined some groups, did some research and I discovered that it didn't matter. The industry, those companies that focused on relationships were doing much better than their peers. And that was the aha moment for me where I said, okay, this is going to be our focus. So we have been evolving over time to figure out the best way to impart this information. So initially we were helping companies with their marketing and communications that would get the idea out there that they were a trusted source, but then we really realized that we needed to work with individuals within organizations. So the connectors way, when it came out five years, Got me traveling and speaking about relationship building, how important is how to do it. Some simple rules to follow. People would nod their head, take notes, but folks tend to revert to the norm. Whatever it was before they were doing before the speech is what they tend to go back to. So we thought, okay, well, if we're going to cause some long-term change that will really make an impact we have to stick with people. So we developed a coaching program that is cohort based. So we work with groups of six to eight folks with a trained coach who is facilitating a conversation around trust over a three-month period, nine sessions all done, virtually supported with a robust, online curriculum, written guidebook on relationship building connecting. So everyone's reading from the same book, but they tend to be with the same company, different positions sometimes, sometimes very similar positions and folks naturally tend to be good at some aspects of relationship building then, others. And when you have them together, sharing what's working, what their frustrations are. There's a lot of knowledge, that's that percolates up, which is only accomplished through a group. If I was doing one-on-one, they're not getting that inspiration of the person on the cube next to them, that is doing these great things that they could do, but they just haven't. So it's, it's a very powerful model to, to coach in a group of people. And then the online courses have allowed us to extend ourselves and organizations that are very large, that want to do maybe some self-taught things and have people, you know, go through our mini courses, which are very interactive and what have you. So yeah, we stick to our knitting now it's trust-based relationship building. That is that, that is our expertise. 

Mike O'Neill: It's your expertise, but what a powerful thing to try to focus energies on, we started this just trying to define trust and now you are helping individuals and organizations not only define it, but actually evidence, and working together to build behaviors that reinforce trust. You know, when you mentioned that you work in a family business and things were not kind of growing and you kind of came to some conclusions that you did, the theme of this podcast is get unstuck and on target. 

Patrick Galvin: There's your story right there. 

Mike O'Neill: It's it's your call? Well, what would you be willing to share with our viewers and listeners? Any examples you would like to share? Getting stuck. 

Patrick Galvin: Oh yeah, no, I'll go back to that story. Cause it was a perfect example of getting stuck. So I, went to a good school, studied marketing, worked for a couple of companies before I joined my family's retail furniture business. And my dad said, Hey, you're the marketing guru in the family. You got the fancy degree. You'd take over and see, see if you could do. And I was really good at spending money. So in my first year in the family business, I spent my annual budget and about five months, it was about a quarter of a million dollars. And I remember being in my showroom next to my dad one day, looking out on rows of, furniture with no people in that showroom. And the same was true in our other, other showrooms. He turned to me and said, so this is what a quarter of a million dollars buys. 

Mike O'Neill: Gold. 

Patrick Galvin: Yep. So then I, I think, okay, well this is not the way it was supposed to work out. I mean, I got a good advertising agency. I thought I had a good creative campaign. I thought it was in the right channels. I did all the checkbox things that you do as a marketer, but it wasn't working. And then I started talking to friends, in an organization called Y E O the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, which has now called EO, the Entrepreneurs Organization. And what I learned is the real successful people. Weren't doing it through marketing. They knew their customers, they were communicating with them in such a way. They had relationships with them that got them coming back in and sending others, it was as simple as that. And that is not what I learned in my marketing program. So it really caused me to shift gears, spend more time training our frontline salespeople give people a better experience, a remarkable experience. They come back. They tell, tell it, tell it to their friends, family members, work colleagues what have you. Communicate in a more interesting way, not advertising, not prices, but how do you set up the optimal home office? You know, how do you add onto your furniture system? Give them information they could use do in-store events. Figure out ways to build a deeper connection. And we did it in over three years. Our sales went up 300%. Our marketing expense actually went down about 25%. I had so much fun doing that, that my dad and I might have a great relationship, but I realized that I was not cut out for retail furniture. So 20 something odd years ago, I left the family business and started this company with a focus on relationship building because I saw how well it had worked for us. I saw that it was working for others in so many companies, just unfortunately, they never get to the point because they go under cause are trying all of these shiny objects out there. And that's not really what it takes. 

Mike O'Neill: Patrick. We have covered a number of topics. I wanted to make sure that we spent some time, on, on your, your latest book. It's an excellent book, but as you reflect back on what we've discussed as we've recorded this podcast, what do you want to make sure our listeners have in the form of takeaways. 

Patrick Galvin: Well, the four way test is a great takeaway. If they go to Wikipedia, they don't even have to buy my book. They just put in the four way test and you have the history of, the four-way test. You can actually see the words written down. That's a wonderful takeaway. If you want to how do I become a person of integrity and trust? That'll be fantastic guidance. They want to have that really come to life. Then by all means, get the trusted way. And it's such an important part of this big picture idea that I want to get across, which is. Business is all about relationship building right now, probably a lot of your listeners, viewers are making plans for next year, what they want to achieve in their businesses in 2022. What I would encourage them to do. And this is what we do in our coaching is what is your relationship building action plan. It's great to have business goals, but goals should be associated to people both inside your organization and outside your organization. So take some time to think about what are the relationships that you have to get that success to actually happen. And you may find. A list of goals is not going to happen if you just kind of keep doing what you're doing and still connected to people in the way you're connected, you might need to deepen your connections with people. You might need to reach outside your existing network to develop some new possibilities. And post COVID what's exciting is a lot of groups are coming back and meetings face to face are becoming normal again. So 2022 should be a year of opportunity. A year of opportunity to grow your business through better relationships. So yes, set some pretty huge goals for yourself next year, but to make those happen, map them back to the relationships you have. Because if you do that, if you tie what you want to achieve to the relationships that you have, and those that you need to develop, then those goals are not pie in the sky, but they actually have a chance of happening.

Mike O'Neill: You know, Patrick, has you describing how relationship building can be so powerful from, from a customer standpoint, I'm drawn on my HR background and it equally applies to relationship building within the organization. 

Patrick Galvin: Absolutely. Yeah. And that we didn't get that when we started, started doing this. We were always focused on the external relationships. And what we've discovered is companies are hiring us because bringing small groups together, having them talk about this as a wonderful way to build internal relationships. And that has tremendous value for organizations. So it's, it's exciting that, that people, when they really focus on it, it just opens up all these possibilities that they just haven't envisioned before.

Mike O'Neill: You said it's exciting. What the possibility is. I can just sit here and reflect on what you've shared with us. Thus far, the excitement comes through in your voice, your eyes kind of light up. If folks are listening and watching and they want to reach out to Patrick, what's the best way for them to connect with you?

Patrick Galvin: They can find us two different ways. The is our corporate website. I also do a lot of speaking out there. So if they want it to watch videos of me speaking, it's So either, either website would be a good way. And my contact information is right there on both those.

Mike O'Neill: We're going to include this in the show notes, but for those who are listening, let me say, I loved your play on Patrick spells his last name. G A L V I N, but a play on Galvin is the galvanizing and that would change the I to an a G A L V A N I Z I N G. But Patrick Galvin. We will include obviously links, not only to, to you, and to your company, we also want to include a link to, to your books so that people can access those. Patrick, this has been a real treat. Thank you so much. 

Patrick Galvin: Oh, thanks Mike. A lot of fun to talk with you about this. 

Mike O'Neill: I also want to thank our listeners for joining us today. Every Thursday, we upload the latest episode to all the major platforms. So if you haven't already please subscribe. But if you are an entrepreneur with big dreams, but you're tired of letting your business keep you up all night, it's time to take action. Head to to schedule a quick call. We'll explore ways to help you solve your people and process problems. So you can again focus on growing your business. So I want to thank you for joining us, and I hope you have picked up on some tips from Patrick that will help you Get Unstuck & On Target. Until next time.

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