3 Ways to Build Trust

March 1, 2018

I saw an inspirational post on Facebook the other day. It said “Trust is a fragile thing. Easy to break, easy to lose, and one of the hardest things to ever get back.” Isn’t that the truth!

It got me thinking about trust and the role it plays in our lives. From relationships with a potential love interest, knowing if you should swipe left or right, friends you ask to house sit, who you get to baby sit, or just knowing which repair shop you can trust to take your vehicle to, we rank and rate someone with a trustworthy rating.

Whether or not it is unconsciously done, our brains quickly assess and help us determine who we can trust. Some call it a gut instinct, or a sense they get about someone when they meet. Whatever it is, it’s invisible, but it plays an intriguing role in our decision making.

It leads to the question, do we continue to pursue a relationship with someone who has broken our trust?

Or, what if you are the person who’s broken someone’s trust? (gasp) Oh the horror! How do you come back from that? Is there any coming back from breaking trust?

In an ideal utopia, people would be honest and transparent. Easy to trust, no ulterior motives or anything to hide. But sadly, this is the real world and human kind can be just that. Human.

Recently, I watched a video about trust and it asked the question “What if there was a trust score?” It was a novel idea and it just resonated with me! How great would it be to immediately know when you meet someone if you could trust them or not. Like a card you could show that proved you were trustworthy! Crazy and fantastical as it sounds, I would have saved myself a world of trouble if that was the case, just by knowing who to interact with and who to avoid. Everyone has that one person they regret trusting. Even Beyonce, Queen B, experienced trust issues with Becky with the good hair! We all have a Becky in our lives. Don’t be Becky.

Maybe its my naiveté, but I want to believe that people are inherently good. That may be why I was intrigued with the 3 things you can do to build trust.  Here’s the takeaway I learned from the video.

  1. Be Reliable.
    • Webster’s describes it as “giving the same result on successive trials.” It’s simple. If you say you are going to be there, be there. If you tell someone you are going to do something, do it. Put actions to words because we all know actions speak louder than words. Seems simple enough, right?
  2. Honor Your Promises.
    • What’s the point of making a promise if you don’t plan on honoring it? Nothing builds confidence and loyalty then a history of well kept promises. And on the other hand, nothing will ruin your reputation faster then a string of broken promises. Promises are black and white and directly impact your credibility and trustworthiness. 
    • Sometimes, we make a promise to someone and for whatever reason, cannot keep it.  That is understandable. However, when there is pattern of breaking promises it may imply that the promise wasn’t a priority, important, or had value. Worse case, it may show the person making the promise has an integrity issue or is trying to please or impress too many people at once. If you do make a promise, make it wisely to keep your integrity and avoid disappointment. Your word has value, but it will diminish if you carelessly break promises.
  3. Be Consistent.
    • Stable. Unchanging. Steady. Constant. These are all words that describe consistency. Consistency is the most important and yet the one we can struggle with the most. And I’m not just taking about that gym membership we started back in January. We want the person who is consistent in love, friendship, and trust. Not the rollercoaster of ups and downs and unpredictability that can come with inconsistency. Is he going to call or not? When will she respond to my text? Did they even see my email? Whether it’s unintentional, nobody likes to feel invisible or ignored. People want to know they matter. We make time for people that we really want to talk to or spend time with even if we’re the busiest person in the world.
    • When there is consistency, there is reliability and predictability. Its not just doing things two or three times, but repetitively. Think of it this way. If you told your spouse you loved them once a year on your anniversary, you probably wouldn’t be married very long or even make it that first year. Or if you went to the gym once a month with the end goal of having abs for that summer pool party, you probably won’t achieve success. It takes time, hard work, and repetitiveness to get the result you want. So keep that weekly date night with your spouse and don’t let excuses get in the way. Reply to your messages in a timely manner. Show up for that team meeting even when you don’t want to. Put that hour in at the gym everyday when you’d rather be sleeping. Then sit back and watch as your trust rating soars. It’s not an overnight success, but the days will turn in to weeks, months, and before you know it years and you’ll have gained the trust of people who are important to you.

We all want to be the best version of ourselves. Let’s improve our trust score. Start today and impact each other by doing the little things consistently.

Be reliable, honor your promises, and most of all be consistent.

Jessica Lingafelt

Post a comment