5 Ways to Build Trust With People (II)

  • Post published:November 16, 2020

In our last article, I discussed 5 surefire ways to build trust with people. In this episode, we continue the list with 5 other open secrets to help you be and appear trustworthy to those you live and work with.

Trust is the major component in any relationship. You must’ve heard of the rumpled paper analogy that likens trust to a straight sheet of paper. It’s all clean and crispy until you rumple it with both hands. But after that, it takes a lot of work to bring it back to its former perfect state—if that’s even possible.

Whether you want to build trust with new people or trying to fix a bad past with someone or a group of people you’ve let down in the past, these 5 tips will be a beacon of hope for you.

Trust me when I tell you that you cannot win with people without the trust factor. That said, let’s get the list rolling.

1. Be a Problem Solver

You see, there’s something about people who make things easier for others. It’s like a charm. When people notice that their troubles tend to disappear or seem under control when they talk to you, they feel more comfortable opening up about other aspects of their lives where they need help.

A friend who helped you get in touch with a marriage counsellor for your marital troubles is likely to get your attention when you run into less important issues. A colleague who simplified a tough task for you on your first day at work would most likely become your buddy.

It’s almost automatic. Nobody builds this kind of reputation in one day. So the best time to start is now. Be a listening ear to someone; a listening ear that doesn’t turn into a talebearer afterwards.

 2. Show Genuine Care for People

Building trust comes with a lot of risks. You’re not sure how other people will interpret your benevolence. You will be misjudged by people who have a hard time receiving. But that’s okay. The goal is not to look trustworthy, the goal is to make someone else’s life better when you get the opportunity.

So go ahead. Preempt people’s needs before they even ask. If you overhead the other lady lamenting over her ruined closet, try offering a few tips that might help. If you see your colleague struggling with a broken car, go out of your way to offer some assistance. If your colleague is finally moving to his/her new home, take part of your weekend to help them move. Building trust is a long shot. So you’d better play the long game.

3. Be Consistent

Trust is like wealth. It takes time and consistent effort to build. You don’t start off investing like Warren Buffet one year and go bunkers the next. You don’t make careful financial decisions on one deal and blow up the next one. That makes you unpredictable.

Like a patient investor, you want to sow seeds of trust in people every time you get the opportunity. There’s no better credibility indicator than consistency. It creates a track record that people cannot gainsay. Take a cue from lending institutions. They often ask for proof to gauge your creditworthiness. You know how much credibility it adds to your profile when they see a track record debt repayment.

4. Keep the Rules

Seriously, who trusts someone who has made a habit out of breaking rules? When someone flouts company policies, traffic rules and even disregards social norms such as respect for people and their time, you cannot trust them. If someone cannot obey traffic rules, how do you even trust them with your life?

Again, people trust you when they can predict your character, reaction and stance on important issues. They may not buy your opinion all the time, but they know where you stand any day. And that’s what matters; consistency.

5. Listen!

For some reasons, I have to bring this back. That’s how important listening can be to building trust. In a world that places a high premium on speaking up, those who can simply listen will win with people.

People pray to God because of one reason only, they believe he listens. Though some religions believe prayer to be a two-way street—you talk to your creator and he responds—it takes trust to believe in someone you cannot see.

When people know that you listen, they feel freer to open up to you about things only a friend should know. This is the beginning of the trust journey

When you listen, give social proof by nodding intermittently, maintaining and breaking eye contact and not interrupting people except to seek a better understanding. To listen effectively, you must note what is said and what’s not being said. Watch for body language, voice tone, posture and pauses. Ask follow-up questions. Seek first to understand before being understood. Then offer genuine feedback.

If you’ve broken trust before, do your best to mend it. Don’t rush on to validate your stance. Wrong is wrong no matter who commits it. Apologise. Don’t act like it never happened. Don’t give people the impression that they don’t deserve an apology.

There’s no greater strength than admitting wrong and making a genuine effort to right things out. People are more likely to trust you with a second chance when they feel you acknowledged the issue and did something about it.

So, which of these 5 lessons rang the truest for you? Let me know in the comments.  

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Simon Uka

    All of the points. I realized that as long as we live in this world, there are bound to be uncertainties and misunderstanding especially amongst those whom you hold dearly. But then one must be willing to accept when we are wrong and as well be deliberate at making things right by avoiding repeated occurrences by all means. Trust can only be built with time, honesty, consistency, sincere concern for others and going out of your way to care for them. Lastly, do not allow things to just role by as if you did no wrong, get up and fix it!! Thank you sir.

  2. Kushimo Kehinde

    Thank you for this wonderful acticle, I learnt been consistent in what I doing is a steping stone in gain trust. Sir I would love to connect with you on WhatsApp so that I can grow from your status.
    God bless you sir.

  3. Anuoluwa Olaoye

    All 5 tips are the truest ways in building Trust with other people. Thanks you so much for this piece.
    Listening and Keeping the rules sound much more important to me. Keeping to rules matter, because a little mistake could end it all.

  4. Wisdom Ezeh

    I enjoyed every bit of information I got here.
    Thank you very much sir!

  5. Daniel

    Personally for me, it’s the Consistency part. I’m an entrepreneur (or trying to be one), that find it hard to stick to a niche. I usually find myself jumping from one hustle to another because I am most fascinated by the idea of discovering how business systems work. I think that’s the only thing that I am consistent with… finding out what makes great business great but I don’t have any idea on how to make a career or business out of it.

    I’d really appreciate some guidance sir.

  6. Egbekunle Boluwatife

    Showing genuine care for people. This actually got me thinking

  7. Alabi

    Thanks very much
    TRUST & CONSISTENT is the way you can improve on yourself,self consistent lead to the way to rid of procrastination.
    Trust is also the ability of creating awareness

  8. Oladimeji Daniel

    The last part, LISTEN, got me. Apologize and gain people’s trust back even though I’ve gone wrong before.

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