Whether you’re a teacher earning the respect of your students, a politician persuading constituents on the issue of the day, a salesperson pursuing the trust of a customer, or an employee building credibility among peers . . . trust and credibility matter. Here are 27 ways to build trust in a relationship:
- It takes many years to become an overnight success.
- Good intentions are just the beginning.
- Your reputation is their first impression.
- Show people that you care about their needs.
- A promise should be as binding as a contract.
- Never sacrifice a long-term relationship for a short-term gain.
- Don’t expect people to look up to you if you look down on them.
- Give credit where credit is due.
- The danger of shooting from the hip is hitting yourself in the foot.
- Be knowledgeable and remain current in your field.
- Follow through on every commitment that you make.
- Take the time to provide the rationale behind your recommendations.
- Stay focused. Trying to be all things to all people is a guaranteed recipe for mediocrity.
- Be objective.
- Opinions held in secret never make a difference.
- Never cut corners.
- Stand up for the things that you believe in. (Waffles are for breakfast.)
- Be a thought leader.
- At the end of the day, you’re judged by the value that you provide.
- Be straight with people. Tell it like it is.
- Don’t be afraid to present bad news. It’s worse to sweep it under the rug. (People appreciate honesty.)
- Remain calm, cool, and collected during difficult times.
- Present both sides of an issue. (Let them judge for themselves.)
- Be a good listener.
- Disclose potential conflicts of interest.
- Even a tiny exaggeration can destroy your credibility.
- Once you make a decision, don’t look back.
There’s More To Come. If you liked this list, here’s an additional 28 ways to build trust and credibility. You’ll love them. TRUST ME!
For a poster version, please click here.
Creating Trust: A Step-By-Step Guide
How to Build Trust: Creating the Foundation
The Values on Which Trust Rests
Trust: How to Earn Someone’s Faith
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Tom Wrona says
Once again Frank, you hit the nail on the head by preaching what should be obvious but sadly isn’t.
However, I’m not sure I fully agree with #27. I think it’s supposed to mean one shouldn’t spend endless hours second guessing oneself, ruminating endlessly and fretting about a course of action about which you’ve already decided. That’s unarguably solid advice.
But on the other hand one should remain flexible. People, circumstances and opportunities change. I think one should stay open-minded and alert to such possible changes and be ready to rethink a position taken earlier in light of new information.
Still, I think I’m going to copy and paste these into a Word document, print them out and hang them on my office wall.
Jordan Kimmel says
Terrific advice Frank! One of my first clients in business said at the beginning of our relationship, “If your interests are MY interests, I’ll be a client for life. If your interests are YOUR interests, I’ll find out soon enough and that will be the end of our relationship.” Happy to say he remained a valued client until his passing 15 years later. His advice was more valuable than all the business we did over the years. Another extension of the Golden rule…as many of your 27 helpful trust builders… I am already looking forward to your next 28! Thanks for sharing these.
I particularly liked #18, “Be a thought leader.” Throwing an idea out rather than having it spelled out leaves so much more room for participation by all responsible for bringing a project to fruition. It allows for greater ownership by everyone.
Frank Sonnenberg says
Tom, I whole-heartedly agree with your sentiments. There are times in each of our lives when we’re faced with grueling decisions. Once the decision is made, it’s important to move forward (or waste precious time second-guessing a decision.) That being said, I agree it’s important to remain open-minded as the world around us is changing so fast.
I love #11. It’s amazing how many times people don’t do it – and it ruins their credibility in my eyes. Nothing says “It’s not that important to me” more than not seeing a commitment through.
AMEN. Particularly to my favorites: Numbers 3, 7, 17 and 24.
But I contest Frank that waffles (much like eggs, pancakes and bacon)are NOT just for breakfast.
Frank Sonnenberg says
Jordan, Rossana, Vi and Marc thanks for your comments. I find it very interesting to see which points strike a nerve with you.
Marc, sorry to use the name of waffles in vain.
For me, Being a thought leader is my favorite. In my experiences, developing a creative solution for a client. or possible client, that takes into account their interests is particularly important
Great list, Frank. This will get me focused on the 2 or 3 I don’t follow as much as I should!
Frank Sonnenberg says
Several people have requested a poster of the 55 Ways to Build Trust and Credibility. We added a link at the end of this posting. Enjoy!