I heard the Secretary of State for the United States give an interview the other day. He said that “we” don’t always get to choose who the United States negotiates with. He said some of the people the US government talks to are pretty awful people. He also said it doesn’t matter if they are trusted or not, we still have to talk to them.
That makes me glad I’m not in government. I get to choose not to talk to or do business with people I don’t trust. I hope that is true for you as well.
It’s also true of most people you know. If you want to be trusted you’ll need to earn it. There are some people who freely give their trust to anyone until it’s proven a person can’t be trusted. These days however the people who make you earn their trust far outnumber those who give it freely.
How do you earn trust? Well the simplest way is to do what you say you will. Always! Tell the truth. Always! When the truth is hard to tell you must tell the truth anyway. Always!
Building trust and credibility takes time.
And sincere effort.
The fundamental beginning to developing trust is being genuinely interested in other people. Asking pertinent questions while listening with complete attention demonstrates that they matter to you. It shows their importance in your life. It reflects your interest in developing a real relationship with them.
It really is just that simple.
Trust matters. If you’re a leader and your people don’t trust you then they absolutely will not follow you. If you’re in sales and people don’t trust you they will go to great lengths to buy from someone else.
When people in general don’t trust you then you miss out on the deep relationships that make life so meaningful.
Don’t expect people to trust you because you think you’re trustworthy. Make the effort to build trust every time you interact with another human being. It’s worth the effort because trust matters in everything you do.