How to gain the trust of each other through 4 simple actions, whether it is a couple or a couple

“Trust me.”

This phrase seems to have been used so badly that it has almost become meaningless. Of course, all people crave trust. Businesses want your trust. Colleagues also want your trust, because only in this way can they help them get their work done.

In many ways, trust is the glue that holds people together and thus makes interactions between people smoother. When we buy and sell things on eBay, those transactions are based on trust in other people. When we use services like Uber to ride in other people’s cars, we need to place a great deal of trust in others. When we provide extremely personal data to companies like Fitbit or Apple, we also have to trust them to protect our data. When we participate in teamwork in the office, we also trust that our colleagues will go all out to do a good job.

Whenever we interact with other people, we almost all have to trust, to a greater or lesser degree, that the person or business we are dealing with is trustworthy.

But trust needs to be earned through hard work and practical actions, and it cannot be achieved by blindly dreaming.

Credibility must be in the blood of a company. It’s not just words, it’s action, from the board of directors to management to retail clerks and factory workers, and even the staff who greet people when they walk in the company’s doors.

How to make “trust me” meaningful? Whether it is a business or an individual, similar principles can be followed.

More than words: Actions speak louder than words. It’s not enough to just say “trust me” or craft a mission statement. Big gestures are easy to spot, but it’s the little things that really make the biggest impact in the long run. When management says to the board, “We’re committed to being good environmental citizens,” I want to see the details of the programs they’ve put in place, and I want to see the results of those actions, so I can be sure they’re not just being superficial.

(Image source: Thinkstock)
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Sometimes, telling people “trust me” can actually reduce your credibility. (Image source: Thinkstock)

Taking individuals as an example, meeting appointments on time, keeping time, and answering questions positively—these seemingly insignificant things add up to earning the trust of colleagues and customers. The same is true for businesses, which should honor commercial commitments, clarify business relationships, and demonstrate the credibility of the organization through day-to-day details.

Be transparent: One of the biggest obstacles to building trust is secrecy or cover-up. Undoubtedly, certain internal matters of a business must be kept private, but there are still many ways in which one can clarify one’s actions without having to disclose confidential information.

If you want people to believe in you or your company, at least be willing to share some of the information that drives your decisions. If you’re willing to be generous with your questions and allow people to drill down to some degree, it helps build trust. Otherwise, if you come across as offensive or defensive – “What? You don’t trust me?” – it will put the other person on edge and lead them to think you’re hiding something – which is probably true , may also be wrong. If a board member asks some in-depth questions, it proves that they are very competent. When consumers do this, it shows that they have interacted with your product or service and already have some understanding.

Transparency is especially important when trust needs to be rebuilt. For example, the banking industry recently made big announcements about upcoming reforms, but their actions have contradicted many of their promises. Not long ago, we also found out that HSBC was making headlines for being accused of helping its customers avoid taxes. This pattern of behavior eats away at credibility, making it more difficult to rebuild trust over time. People need to see continued action and to know that those responsible have indeed been punished and have indeed changed their behavior because of it. Even so, it will take time and a concerted effort to restore the credibility lost to past recklessness.

Don’t do anything by hook or by crook: There was a time when business leaders believed that anything should be done. It doesn’t matter how, as long as it’s good for shareholders and profitable. Destruction of the environment, lower wages, mismanagement – any means can be used.

However, consumers, customers and the community have no longer accepted this approach. Today, earning trust requires being a good corporate citizen, keeping promises, and being socially responsible. Investors, consumers, customers and partners are now concerned about poor employment. The high-profile relationship between Apple and Foxconn is a good example, and many other companies have also attracted attention for their tax disputes in Europe, including Starbucks before it and McDonald’s more recently.

The same goes for individuals. Treating colleagues and clients with respect is the only way to truly succeed. Even if some people initially seem to succeed in unethical ways, they eventually need to turn to colleagues, and they quickly find that there is no one willing to support them.

Accountability: This one is clear. If you do something wrong, you will be held accountable, whether it is a business or an individual. It’s actually that simple. People tend to forgive erring individuals or organizations if they candidly admit their mistakes and correct them quickly. Credibility is maintained and enhanced by being clear and transparent throughout the process.

Mission statements and statements of intent may showcase your plans, but they must then be backed up with tangible and transparent actions to truly build trust, both in developing loyal and close relationships with colleagues, and in building lasting relationships with clients and the community .

Gaining and maintaining credibility takes constant work, but it’s totally worth it.