The Power of Trust
Trust is the backbone of every society and every human interaction. Without trust it would be very hard to survive in the world. Almost everything we do requires some level of trust.
When you're driving through a green light you trust that the drives going the other way will stop because their light is red. Without this trust we would be paranoid on the road and unable to drive.
We trust the schools with our children, the banks with our money, and the courts with our laws.
While we are forced to have trust in society, most people are very skeptical and do not freely put their trust in everything. When it comes to buying products we tend to be more critical because we are all well aware that there are scams and bad people or companies out there, and therefore we try to be careful. We limit our trust and only give it to people when we either have to or more likely when they have earned it.
The ability to earn someone's trust is one of the most powerful things. When someone trusts you they will listen to your opinion or advice, rely on you, or even help you when you're in need. When they don't trust you they will question everything you say, and you will have a very hard time dealing with them.
In the business world, companies can thrive on the trust they build, or go bankrupt when trust disappears. This is not just referring to stock prices that plummet when trust disappears, but even small private companies can link trust to their success.
As a business owner or manager you have to be mindful that you need to develop and build trust in multiple places. You need your employees to trust you, your suppliers to trust you, and your customers to trust you. You also have to trust them and discover ways that they can help increase the trust that you give them. When you are able to experience a high level of reciprocated trust in these three relationships your company will be successful.
The challenge that we have is building trust can take a long time, while it only takes a single action to destroy trust completely. This is something that we must be constantly aware of. When you are interacting with your stakeholders you have to consciously think are my current actions building or destroying the trust relationship with this person.
In the book The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey he talks about thinking of trust like a bank account. You have to constantly be making deposits into other people's accounts so if you ever need to make a withdrawal you are able to maintain a positive balance.
To start the first step is to go through your current relationships and try to think of how much trust has been developed. This will help create a baseline to determine how much work needs to be done to increase the trust in that relationship. For people that you have a high level of trust, you just have to find ways to maintain it, while for one's with little to know trust; you will have to put in more work.
After you know where you stand, try to think of things that you can do to increase the trust in that relationship. Some relationships are easy to build trust while others can be more difficult. You have to remember that the real trust account is not based on what you think but based on what they think. Try to think about things from their perspective and use their actions to judge how much they trust you.
When you consciously make an effort to build and develop trust in all of your relationships, you will begin to see the results in your business especially the bottom line.