Someone made the statement to me recently that people have a desire to trust leaders until they prove to be untrustworthy. I had to object to this point of view because I think it is fundamentally in contrast with my generation. Those in positions of power are suspect until they’ve earned my respect through consistency, substance, and action. I really don’t have a deep desire to trust any leader or institution. However, once you’ve earned my trust, you have my full attention and loyalty until that trust is broken for whatever reason.
Here are a five things you should know about building trust:
- You don’t have it until you’ve earned it.
- You haven’t earned it until I give it to you.
- Once I give it to you, you still have to earn it over and over again.
- If you break trust, you lose the right to communicate with me.
- If we are no longer communicating, then there is little hope to restore your position of influence with me.
Trust is delicate. It is best fostered and maintained through a comprehensive content strategy that engages others and moves them in a specific direction.
- Provide helpful information
- Help people connect with others
- Make someone’s life easier
- Ease tension wherever you can
- Give your customers a voice and listen thoughtfully
- Partner with good-cause associations and tackle issues together
What intentional steps are you taking to build trust with those you most want to influence? The process begins today.
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.