Several months ago, I shared with readers the three principles of truth, trust and learning that I’ve endeavoured to build my life upon. In this article I would like to expand upon the principle of trust and show you how you can become more trustworthy by incorporating the three foundations of trust into your life.
I’m sure you’ve been in a meeting at work where a person has been giving a presentation that just didn’t hang together. Everyone else in the room can sense the lack of logic and end up rolling their eyes to one another….what they are actually saying is I can’t trust what is being presented.
The more logical you are the more likely people will believe what you are saying. This goes for all your relationships, whether they are friends, family or work colleagues.
For example, you may be able to tell your 8-year-old child that they can’t go to a friend’s house because “I said no” but trying that approach with an 18-year-old will get you entirely different results. The older child will expect to hear a logical reason why they can’t go out. They may still not agree with it but at least it made sense.
The rule of thumb is to think before you speak, and you’ll look a lot wiser. In fact, if you are in a work meeting, be the last person to speak and then you can logically build upon the input of everyone else in the room…..this will gain you a lot of trust as you’re considerate to the input of others.
Empathy and sympathy are often confused between each other. The best way of thinking about the difference is that sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for another person while empathy is putting yourself in their shoes.
When you really care about another person you will become empathetic and they will notice that you are. It’s all about getting alongside them and together sharing what they are going through and bearing whatever the burden is together.
A friend of mine was doing exceptionally well in his business but within the space of about a week everything turned to disaster and he lost everything due to being caught up in a scam. He’d done nothing wrong and yet he'd lost everything.
I remember going down to his office on a Saturday morning when no one else but just the both of us were there. He was in a bad way and one of the things I said to him was, “I guess you’ve discovered who you friends are.”
He replied, “Yes.”
I then said, “I’m here.”
He knew that many years ago I’d been through a similar situation in one of my own businesses. My simple statement wasn’t arrogant but full of compassion as I empathised with him as I could feel his pain from my own experience.
I’ve found that when you’re really there for a person when they are down they remember it for the whole of their life. It’s during these times that real trust is developed as people see you standing in their place and sometimes even taken a “bullet” for them when they are down.
It’s really hard to develop trust with someone that is not authentic. Being true to yourself and to your own set of values allows people to get to know who you are.
According to Facebook everyone is having a much more awesome life than we are…..but is this what is really happening? We’ve become so adept at putting fake masks on that some of us forget who we really are.
A friend of mine leads a lifestyle that I don’t agree with but they are one of the most authentic people I have the privilege of knowing. They don’t try and convert me to their way of thinking but they rest in the comfort that the way they are behaving is right for their set of values. They are being authentic to themselves….and actually an inspiration to me.
We try and catch-up at every domain conference because we enjoy each other’s friendship. There’s no guile or underhandedness between us and with the result we end up having some great conversations together…..it’s all about being authentic.
The first step in developing trust with someone is to realise that you can’t change them, all you can do is change you. I would encourage you to consider the three aspects of trust; logic, empathy, authenticity and hopefully these will help you along your life’s journey as much as they’ve helped me.