Election season usually includes conversations about the trustworthiness of candidates. That is an even bigger topic of conversation today. Trust matters. You and I can’t do anything to affect the trustworthiness of other people, but we can take steps to make sure we are trusted.
In chapter six of our book of the month, The Impact Equation, the authors talk about trust. They pose an interesting question: “It’s easy to understand if we trust someone else, but how can we tell if someone trusts us? That isn’t as easy.”
In reality, we usually don’t know if people trust us until we discover they don’t. Then, it might be too late to address the issue. People today are more skeptical than ever. Why? Maybe it’s because of their experiences. They have valid reasons not to trust some people or professions.
We talk about encounters with trustworthy people the same way we talk about encounters with celebrities. We don’t expect people to be honest or do what’s right. We often act shocked when we see someone operate from a foundation of integrity. It’s refreshing and encouraging.
So, how do we become people others trust?
- Tell the truth. Researchers estimate that 91% of us lie regularly. Some people are so accustomed to being dishonest that they don’t even realize they are doing it. You can go a long way toward becoming a trusted person by simply telling the truth. In our business lives, we need to be honest with those we lead and those to whom we report. In our personal lives, we should reflect integrity in everything we do. In our spiritual lives, we need to be honest with God about our sin, fears, and desires—by the way, He knows everything already.
- Deliver what you promise. Do people believe you will do what you said you would do? Some people have that reputation for delivering what they promised when they promised it. Others have a reputation for making excuses. Each of us leans more toward one of those extremes. When you show up on time and do what you say, people will begin trusting you at a whole new level.
- Give more value than expected. We all cringe when we call for service on an appliance or home system. We know we will be charged for the visit, but we have no idea how much the repair will be. Is that electrical problem a $100 fix or will it be $1000? Isn’t it refreshing to encounter someone who delivers more than we expect but charges less than we expect? We all can add value to our encounters with others by offering words of encouragement, a listening ear, or taking time to pray with someone.
Some people don’t think trust is important. I disagree. I think trust is vital for anyone who wants to influence others. There’s no room for manipulation or self-edification. People talk about people they trust. They also talk about people they don’t trust. You’ll be the topic of someone’s conversation today. Will that conversation be positive or negative?
Live on purpose,