RAOKA: A Little Trust Goes a Long Way

August 4, 2010

This month’s RAOKA (Random Acts of Kick Arse) topic is trust.  Each month a new theme is explored.  To get involved, please visit Jane Be Nimble.

When it comes to making decisions about who I want to be friends with, which companies and organizations I want to do business with or which products I want to purchase…one word usually comes to mind for me: trust.  I don’t necessarily think about trust on a conscious level…but I know that my level of trust with a person, company, product or group is a major factor in my decision of whether I become more involved.

Trust, however, does not always come easy.  Often, it takes time to build and develop a sense of trust.  So how do you build trust?

First off, never say, “trust me” to anyone you want to build trust with.  And don’t trust anyone who says “trust me,” either.  Trust is built more from action than words.  If you want to build trust with someone, don’t tell them you’re trustworthy – show them.

I’ve spent a lot of time working with clients throughout my career.  I genuinely enjoy working with these clients and one of the first things I like to do is to develop that sense of trust when we first meet.  This trust can’t be developed overnight, but over time I do this by delivering the work that I promise, listening to their challenges and managing their expectations.  It’s a simple formula that has worked for me.

So what’s the big deal about trust anyway?

A little trust can really be powerful.  If you can demonstrate trust to a lot of people, chances are you’ll have more friends and/or better quality relationships.  If you can demonstrate trust in an interview, more than likely you’ll be hired for the position.  If you develop trust with your consumers, you’ll probably sell a lot more product.

I really love the word trust. It is strong, yet subtle…it is powerful and delicate…and when it’s present, trust can be quite magical.

Creative commons photo courtesy of The U.S. Army.

1 Lance August 4, 2010 at 10:15 am

I like how you’ve focused part of this on trust and relationships/friendships. Such an important part of the friendships we develop, and especially those that are most meaningful…the importance of trust.

And it really is in our actions and not in what we just say….(well said!)

2 Lori August 4, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Hi Tim,
It’s an honor to see you posting about trust with us today. You bring an aspect to the table that was off to the side with the dessert. I like this!

It made me realize that there’s a whole additional aspect to trust — when that’s interviewing for a job or interacting with people in the workplace. It’s really important to be able to not only win people’s trust, but to have trust in them, too. Thanks for mentioning this.

Enjoy your day, Tim, and thanks for the trust you’ve developed for me, too.

3 Tim August 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Hi Lance: …it is certainly interesting how trust figures into new friendships. I’ve talked with people who have some difficulty putting any trust in other people and strangers. I can understand this to a point…but sometimes we need to take a leap in this area in order to grow. Thanks for your kind words and I hope you and your training are doing well!

Hi Lori: I really like the word trust and think it can be applied in so many areas. I wanted to incorporate this into my post, but I feel in a way that having trust in someone (or something) is a lot like having faith in them. I think one of the other RAOKA writers touched on this…that trust sometimes means taking a leap of faith. Thanks for stopping by and for hosting a great monthly topic on RAOKA…and for your friendship and faith in me, as well!

4 Gayze (Gazehound's Animal Communication) August 4, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Tim, I never really gave thought to how the words “trust me” can so often turn *off* that sense of trust, till I read your post. Wow, a lot to think about in those two little words.

I think perhaps those two words have simply been abused too often. It would be interesting to think about what it might take to regain the value of those words.

5 Keith August 4, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Hello Tim,

This is a really good post on trust. I think one of the most important things you pointed out is to not tell people that you are trustworthy, but rather SHOW THEM! Actions speak louder in word alone..every time.

Great read, thanks Tim!

6 Tim August 5, 2010 at 6:46 am

Hi Gayze: Yeah, unfortunately “trust me” rings hollow to me whenever I hear it. I’m sure there are other quick ways someone can build trust without saying those two words. Maybe I’ve watched too many movies and/or soap operas. In any case, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

Hi Keith: Thanks for stopping by…when I think about trust I’m thinking about those early stages in romantic relationships when we really don’t know our partners very well. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt. I also think about how “I love you” can ring very hollow if you’re partner’s actions don’t match his/her words. I agree…actions trump words any day.

7 The Exception August 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Trust is built over time – and it is a leap of faith as the time continues to build. It is like taking steps toward the pool, watching others trust the water, and then getting in yourself.
We can build trust – but can we rebuild trust?

I trusted completely only to find that the person had started lying about a few things that meant little but they were hidden all the same. With all that I have discovered, I have elected not to trust this person, but I wonder if one can choose to trust again, the same person that has burned them… totally taking the leap with no doubts and complete honesty?

8 Tim August 11, 2010 at 11:26 am

Hi Exception: You bring up some great points and questions that really prompt some deep thinking. I’d agree that trust is easier to build than to rebuild. I believe when you boil it down, your intuition is a big factor in determining whether you can build or rebuild trust. Thanks for stopping by and sharing some thoughts!

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