As a former FBI counterintelligence agent, I needed to learn how to build trust with others.
I needed information from them; in return, they needed to know that I could be trusted to keep our relationship discreet.
Trust is at the heart of every business. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and leaders need to work with people both inside and outside of their organization to create mutually beneficial relationships.
People who live in high-trust environments thrive. They are able to build strong relationships because trust is give-and-take.
Emotional competency is a core component of mental toughness—the ability to manage our own emotions and empathize with the emotions of others. When learning how to build trust with others, you must find a way to relate to them in a meaningful way. Here are 6 tips:
1. Build Trust With Others By Trusting Yourself
You will not be able to trust others if you cannot trust yourself. It requires you to be honest about who you are as a person. Learn how to be compassionate with yourself and not harshly judge the person you find. Compassion and forgiveness opens you up and allows you to learn.
Self-awareness enables us to understand and accept our limitations; in turn, it’s easier to understand that everyone has limitations.
2. Build Trust With Others By Mirroring Them
Neuro-linguistic researchers have found links between our mind, language, and behavior. The three primary modes through which people react to the world around them are visual (seeing), auditory (hearing), and kinesthetic (feeling).
These sensory channels become important when building trust because they impact the way we can relate to people in a way that is meaningful to them. Pay attention to the language that a person uses—chances are, they will follow one of the following three patterns in their speech.
Sounds like . . . a lot of information.
Looks like . . . a lot to learn.
Feels like . . . more than I can handle.
If someone expresses themselves using a feeling word, use a feeling word to respond. If someone is an auditory person, use sounds to bring home your point: “it sounds like a thousand people in the room.” For visual people, ask them what the issue “looks” like to them.
3. Build Trust With Others By Noticing Their Words
When people are passionate about something, they use words that are freighted with meaning. The first step is to notice the words they use that are full of energy. Here are some energy words another person may use in a conversation that point to their emotional state:
The list goes on. After you have noticed the way a person uses an energy word, draw attention to it by simply repeating it, and then pausing. By repeating the word, and pausing, it alerts them that you 1) have noticed their concern, 2) are validating it, and 3) giving them an opportunity to further elaborate.
4. Build Trust With Others By Making Promises. And Keeping Them.
The promise does not have to be big, but small things like sending a timely email or sticking to a schedule can go a long way in building trust.
When others realize you can be trusted to keep your word on small things, they will instinctively trust you with bigger ones. This becomes very important when the stakes are higher.
5. Build Trust With Others By Admitting You Don’t Have All The Answers
It takes genuine confidence in yourself to admit you don’t know something, but this simple act of trust on your part speaks volumes to the people who hear it. Your team will understand that you are an honest and open person.
Trust is reciprocal, so the more you trust others, they more likely they will trust you. Trusting others also requires you to take a risk because you cannot always predict their response.
6. Build Trust With Others By Remaining Vigilant
We spend a great deal of time trying to size up other people to determine their trustworthiness. However, once we make a decision, we rarely re-evaluate it even if a significant period of time has lapsed.
Complacency is dangerous.
Always remain vigilant for instances of where trust can be abused. If we’re not paying attention, the landscape can change and suddenly the attitude and behavior of people you once trusted can shift.
This is not being paranoid, it is being wise. We all know of instances where deals have fallen through or bad decisions were made because they were based on a false sense of security.
Trust, but verify—Ronald Reagan
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