Give Trust to Get Trust

Interpersonal competence is one of the keys to success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success.  If you want to become interpersonally competent, you need to do three things.  1) Get to know yourself, use this self knowledge to better understand others.  2) Build and maintain solid long term relationships with the important people in your life.  3) Learn how to resolve conflict with minimal disruptions to your relationships.

In The Little Teal Book of Trust, Jeffrey Gitomer says, “Trust is the basis for all relationships.”  I agree.  It is very difficult, if not impossible to build solid relationships without a foundation of trust. 

I have built my consulting on business on a simple process.  First I focus on getting people to like me.  Once they like me, I work on getting them to trust me. Once they trust me, I work on selling them my consulting, coaching and speaking services.  This simple three step model has served me well over the past 20 years.

Here are the ten suggestions Jeffrey has for building trust:

• Tell the truth.  This is the number one element of trust and relationships.

• Do what you say you will do.  This is a test of being trustworthy and reliable.

• Communicate in a timely manner.  This shows you are responsible, on top of it, and that you care.

• Bring value beyond your product or service.  What you do to help others be more successful is a true reflection of your character.

• Be on time.  Being on time shows you respect the other person’s time.

• Be friendly.  Smiling people are the gateway to open communication.

• Be sincere.  This can only come from belief in what you do, loving what you do, and caring for others.

• Show and say genuine thanks.  Be grateful for the opportunity to be of service.

• Be consistent.  I believe this element of trust is the most difficult to master because it combines all the other elements.

• Give trust.  You become trustworthy by giving trust.

I particularly like Jeffrey’s last point.  One of my first mentors once told me to “give away what you want.”  If you want respect, give respect to the people in your life.  If you want love, give love to the people in your life.  And, as Jeffrey Gitomer points out, if you want people to trust you, trust them. 

By extending yourself and giving trust before you know it will be reciprocated, you will brand yourself as a trusting person, someone others will be more inclined to trust.  This is the same idea that Roger Fisher and William Ury express in one of my favorite books, Getting to Yes. In negotiations, they advise their readers to, “Proceed independent of trust.”  In other words, act as if you trust the other person and what he or she says.  This is just another way of saying, “Give trust.’

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are interpersonally competent.  If you want to become interpersonally competent, you need to build strong relationships with the people in your life.  Trust is the basis of all strong relationships.  Jeffrey Gitomer’s new book, The Little Teal Book of Trust is must reading for anyone who wants to learn how to build relationships through trust.  The single most important point in the book is to gain trust by giving trust.  This may be difficult for you at first, but as you go about building relationships by extending trust to others, you’ll find that the vast majority of people are trustworthy and will not take advantage of your good will and trust.

That’s my take on building relationships by extending trust.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts and stories.  As always, I thank you for reading.


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