By Jason Nemoy
In 2012… I. Flat. Out. LIED. (Yes, “lied” in caps, and bold.)
It was a moment, a “life lesson”, I will certainly never forget. I told my (twin) brother I took care of something very important to him, for which I didn’t.
The knot in my stomach, the heartburn, and the headache ruined me for 2 two days. A phone call cleared all of this up in seconds, but it took several years to restore a strong foundation of trust with my brother.
Building trust requires time, patience, effort, and commitment. It’s a continuous workout. For me, it’s a daily workout, often reflecting and collaborating with my work peers, family and friends. Bottom-line, building trust is an ongoing journey, and we all know how quickly we can lose trust and get off track.
Let’s keep it simple. I look at three essential ingredients to building trust, personally and professionally.
1. Sincerity – Any hint of insincerity or being disingenuous can kill trust…fast! Coming across as “salesy”, showing a lack of empathy, or not paying full attention to your audience could and can be quite detrimental (the “kiss of death”).
Consider ending a conversation with “What can I do for you? How can I assist and support you?” (And then make sure you do it.)
2. Competency – Know your stuff, and if you don’t have the answer to something, ask for help. It’s ok to not have all the answers to your issue or problem. Just commit to being solution-oriented and finding the answers. People are confident in you, and leaning on you as a subject matter expert.
Consider communicating “I don’t have the answer but will find out and circle back with you asap.”
3. Reliability – Be present and show up both mentally and physically. Be prepared for whatever it is you’re walking into. Do your homework. If individuals are counting on you, then a “do-what-it-takes attitude” will serve you well.
Consider offering the opportunity to be contacted at any time… after-hours, weekends, etc. Most people may not take you up on the offer, but those that do will confirm your willingness to be there for them.
I learned a good lesson 10 years ago that has really stuck.
Yes, be truthful.
And… find ways to show how you can be trusted.
Keep the process of building trust simple by focusing on simple ingredients (maybe even the 3 listed), and work on building trust every day.