There really is no shortcut to gaining the trust of another person, but you can become a person who gains trust quickly. I have noticed in many of my business dealing I gain the confidence and trust of people I just met very quickly. I examined these relationships and have found some common traits.
- Gain the trust of someone trustworthy – It takes a long time to build up trust in any environment. In business it is sometime vital to your job to gain someone’s trust. You may need confidential information. You may need a favor. The reasons are many but the method is the same. Be a trust worthy person. Do what you say you will. It will take time, but once you have this person’s trust things can go faster the next time if the two parties know each other. The endorsement of a trustworthy person is gold when it comes to gaining trust quickly.
- Point out ways they can keep you honest – When I demonstrate I want to be held accountable for my honesty, the people I deal with are more comfortable trusting me. I show them how to protect themselves from a dishonest person and it increases my value as an honest person. Of course if someone isn’t honest, they basically just turned themselves in so it works well in gaining credibility.
- Don’t hide mistakes – Report and correct. If you can manage to correct things before you are able to report them, all the better, but don’t delay reporting just to try and fix everything. Be honest about your mistake and have a plan. If you don’t know how to fix it, ask to be shown so you can be part of the solution and not the problem.
- Be honest to a fault – There is no need to be mean, but white lies drive down trust. The classic example (which hopefully won’t show up at work) is “does this dress make me look fat?” You can avoid the question or answer it, but don’t say something that isn’t true. Be honest about why you won’t answer the question if it comes to that (you’re uncomfortable, you were told something in confidence, it isn’t appropriate work conversation). Keep yourself tactful but honest. As long as you don’t lie (or stretch the truth) you won’t have to remember who you lied to and what you lied about.
Trust is slowly gained in the business world and it is quickly destroyed. Build up your trustworthiness. People talk and a good reputation spreads. That is how to gain trust quickly in a new situation, by already having the reputation that you are worthy of that trust.
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