Where do you begin to win the trust of people? Are there basic principles to follow, the young executive wanted to know.
Yes, there are principles to follow, and they aren't complicated, but they have to be intentional. (Sometimes MBA students think that things have to be complicated to work.)
Here they are:
Make time. Set aside plenty of time to spend with the person or persons you want to trust you. What you do with that time comes next.
Ask questions, lots of questions. Smart, well prepared questions that show you did your homework – and that their needs and problems matter to you. Good questions show that you want to learn.
Listen. Really listen. This means being completely quiet after you ask your question and really listening. People know when it’s genuine – and when its not.
Play back what you heard. It’s called active listening, and it means repeating back to the person what they said in different words – so they know you heard what they said and understood it.
Add something constructive. Build on what they said. Add some value. Make what they contributed matter to the process.
And later, if you promise – deliver. Come through. Do what you said you’ll do. Every time. Reliability is a precursor of trust. Excuses destroy trust.
RECOMMENDATION It's very important that your relationship be two-way, meaning that both sides are heard, valued, and benefit. Until that happens, it's unlikely there will be any real trust. Be patient. And be deliberate. Remember, trust is EARNED.
If these steps sound like the same building blocks to use to develop and maintain any relationship, friendship, partnership, or team structure, you’re right. It’s not complicated. It’s not all that difficult. But there aren't any shortcuts.
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