7 Foolproof Ways to Build Trust

7 Foolproof Ways to Build Trust

Trust is a big deal. We live in a world of fake. Fake designer bags sold out of some dude's trunk, fake connections made online, fake politicians who tell us one thing and do another.

If you want to be a great leader, win friends and influence people, and live the life you were meant to live, you have to eliminate fake and be trustworthy.

Being trustworthy means you are real, authentic, and genuine.

7 Foolproof Ways to Build Trust

Photo credit: cactusbeetroot / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

For a special occasion earlier this year, my wife bought me an extremely nice watch. Partly as a “thank you” for supporting her through school, and partly because I've always wanted a nice watch, she and I picked out a beautiful Bulova time piece.

Whenever we made our purchase, the salesperson at the store handed me the certificate of authenticity stating that the watch was real. Knowing that we'd purchased an authentic Bulova watch allowed us to feel more comfortable about buying it. We knew we hadn't been duped or taken advantage of.

Similar to knowing we'd dealt with a legitimate business and made an authentic purchase, whenever I'm dealing with another person, I want to know I'm dealing with a trustworthy and authentic person.

[ois skin=”Top 10 Credibility Building Activities of Influential Leaders”] Here are…

7 Foolproof Ways to Build Trust

Act in Private Like You Do in Public

One thing I always do is act in private the same way I do in public. I'm the same person all the time and with everyone I meet.

Have you ever hung out with a co-worker only to find out they're a completely different person when they're not at the office?

While it's ok to be different to a degree, you shouldn't behave in a way that betrays who you really are.

Do What You Say You Will Do

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know just how important it is to me that I surround myself with people who do what they tell me they'll do. I call it dwizzy-wid.

One way I evaluate who I'll keep in touch with is to see if people do what they tell me they're going to do. If someone tells me they're going to meet me at 1 pm and don't, I brush it off. If it happens again, I take notice. After a third time, I take the person's word with a grain of salt and I build it into my routine.

As the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Build trust by doing what you say you'll do. I'd rather you say you can't meet me than lie and have me prepare for something that will never happen.

Back up your words with your actions.

Follow Up

Some of the greatest relationships and partnerships that I've developed over the years are with people who follow up with me.

If you want to build trust with someone, follow up with them and see how they're doing. Ask if they're making any progress. This shows you've paid attention and are interested in their future success.

If you need help remembering to follow up, set a reminder on your phone. I bet you'll surprise the person you follow up with!

To Thine Own Self Be True

You have to know yourself and what you're about if you're ever going to build trust. Have an opinion and stick to it. Better yet, instead of an opinion, give guidance which is an opinion backed by knowledge, experience and wisdom.

But above all else, be true to yourself.

Erika Napoletano gave an awesome TEDx talk in Boulder, Colorado about being true to yourself. She calls it, “Rethinking Unpopular” but the message is clear. There are two types of people in the world, you and everybody else.

Stop giving a crap about what other people think of you; know who you are and be true to yourself. (TWEET THAT!)

Build Your Personal brand

I talk a lot about personal branding. I wrote about it here and about online personal branding here. I write about it because it's a big deal!

Your brand is who you are, it's your reputation. If you're known for being untrustworthy, you have an uphill battle ahead. Your personal brand should be based on a foundation of trust.

Build trust by doing the things on this list. Start small and your personal brand will begin to reflect that you're trustworthy.

Be Transparent

People will only trust you if you are willing to pull back the curtain of your life and give them a peek inside. You must be willing to share yourself.” – Michael Hyatt, Platform

One of the best ways a leader can build trust is by being transparent. Over the years you and I have gotten extremely good about smelling a fraud and seeing a scam.

If you're saying one thing and doing another, you're of no use to me.

Hidden agendas destroy trust while transparency builds it. The next time you think someone is skeptical of what you're saying, or the motives behind your movements, think about pulling back the curtain and showing them what you're really up to.

Transparency is one of the hallmarks of Pat Flynn and one of the reasons why he's so admired and successful.

Don't shoot yourself in the foot by thinking you're going to pull a fast one the people around you; they're far too clever for that and probably smarter than you think they are.

Get Feedback

When people see you taking their input seriously, it not only inspires trust in you, it also creates an environment of growth and change” – Stephen M.R. Covey, The Speed of Trust

Ask your friends for their opinion, advice, and expertise. Learn from them. One of the best ways to get feedback is to simple ask for it.

But here's the catch, if you ask for honest feedback but complain when you get it, you'll never get it again.

Honest feedback comes from a place of mutual trust. If you have a trusted personal board of directors, they'll give you good feedback every time.

And an 8th “bonus” way –

Produce Results

As Jim Rohn is known for saying, “Results is the name of the game!” By producing results, you're not only showing others that you're more than just talk, you're showing them that they can count on you.

If you've been given a task to complete, a quota to attain, or a patient to care for, producing the desired result will help you build trust.

By producing results, you're telling the world, “You can count on me.”

Trust really is a big deal. Trust strengthens marriages and friendships, and builds successful teams and businesses too.

Question: How do you build trust? I know I've missed a few ways, so share your tips with me in the comments below by clicking here!


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  • A very well structured post, Ellory. Personally I believe that there is only one way “to rule them all” and that is to keep your word (i.e. practice what you said and say what you practice [your #2 point]). And that is the main feature of a gentleman, a leader, a man, a person and a conscious member of a civilized society. Thank you for sharing!

  • A very well structured post, Ellory. Personally I believe that there is only one way “to rule them all” and that is to keep your word (i.e. practice what you said and say what you practice [your #2 point]). And that is the main feature of a gentleman, a leader, a man, a person and a conscious member of a civilized society. Thank you for sharing!

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