Earn People’s Trust

Whether you earn through employment or business, trust is one of the most important assets to have.

Think relationship, not transaction. In a transaction, you try to get the most out of it. In a relationship you are in for the long run – be concerned with the other party besides being concerned with yourself.

Don’t offend people. Be kind and compassionate to everyone. Avoid even little acts of discourtesy or impoliteness. It is very easy to hurt people’s feelings and very hard to repair them. Hurt feelings cause a lot of mistrust. In the same vein, avoid gratuitous advice – although you may think that you are helping, others will see you as showing superiority, especially when you haven’t invested time to understand a situation.

Be tolerant of other people’s shortcomings and mistakes. Put up with the imperfections of colleagues and associates. Only tell them carefully and in the right situation, even in formal performance review situations. Negative feedback can be viewed as criticism, so be very parsimonious – always stress the other person’s good points and achievements, give it a positive spin (e.g. say it can be overcome, point to where solutions may be found, share your experience in receiving negative feedback, offer your help). It is possible to give negative feedback in a meaningful way only after the relevant parties have developed trust.

Never criticize someone when the person is not present. It reflects poorly on you more than the criticized person– it also gives the listeners the ‘permission’ to do the same to you when you are not present. To stop others having this habit, ask the speaker whether he has given the feedback to the person concerned.

Keep your promises but avoid promising. Say ‘I’ll do my best for you, but I can’t promise.’ One broken promise is enough to destroy trust. If you promise and cannot deliver, explain the situation, and stress that you have done your best (if that is true).

Help others when you can. Help is most appreciated when others are in need, and you are not expected to help them. Example: Simple things like giving someone a lift not only saves him or her time and money but also gives an opportunity to know the person. Example: Help other people’s children – lend them books, pass them toys, give them career advice.

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