Trust is the heart of all relationships, but it’s easy to damage, undermine or destroy. So what kinds of things can we do to build trust, so that people can feel safe, and be real, with us?
1. Be reliable – and do what you say: This is absolutely crucial for establishing trust. It’s a case where actions speak louder than words. Unless you’re hit by a truck or your house burns down to do everything you can to follow through on your commitments. Even if it’s fairly minor, don’t cancel or postpone.
2. Don’t lie: It’s surprisingly easy to cover with a lie. It gets us out of trouble or leaves us looking good. But if the lie is uncovered, even if it’s just a small thing, it smears our reputation … and leaves us looking bad.
3. Be willing to volunteer some extra information: It’s said that “those with nothing to hide, hide nothing”. Why not volunteer some extra information to put the other person completely at their ease. That helps prevent misunderstandings and can quieten their suspicions so they know that you’re a person who’s transparent and real.
4. Don’t omit important details from your story: You can really slant a story by missing out some facts. If you’re tempted to do that, then your goal is not “being honest”. And it will come back to haunt you when the truth is uncovered, and you’ll be framed as a liar and “someone NOT to trust”.
5. A secret … is a secret … is a secret: Don’t ever share what’s shared with you in confidence. Don’t allow yourself to gossip, even if it’s hard at times. A person who’s discreet is truly valued by others. You’ll have a stellar reputation and be seen as a true friend.
6. Be real about your feelings: Those who just share facts can come across as cold and distant – and it’s hard to trust a person who seems like a machine! But if you share your feelings, too, others feel you understand them, and you’ll seem like someone is genuine and real.
7. Be consistent in the way you act: This is related to predictability, stability, calm and reliability. For a person who’s consistent is a safe and loyal friend. You know what to expect as they’re always the same.