3 more ways to become more credible and trustworthy

It’s a known fact that people buy from people they know, like, and trust.

Indeed, trust may be the most important of the ingredients. We all know people that we also like, but we wouldn’t trust their intentions, judgement, or actions. After all, there are some really nice people out there who have good intentions, but make stupid decisions or don’t follow-through.

So trust is not a nice-to-have element in your work and personal relationships, it’s an absolute must. That’s why I gave you the first three ways to become more credible and trustworthy in a previous Tuesday Tip.

=> 1. Consistently appear warm and friendly.

=> 2. Consistently express your intentions and motives.

=> 3. Consistently demonstrate reliability and follow-through.

I’m sure you noticed the use of the word “consistently.” You can’t do these behaviors once in a while or when you feel like it and expect people to trust you. No, you’ve got to do them consistently.

And there are three more things you need to do to become more credible and trustworthy.

► 4. Be a source of important information.

Do people see you as tuned in? Or clueless?

Do people see you as well informed and up to date? Or out of touch?

Are you continuing to learn? Or do you resist any and all educational opportunities to improve yourself?

When I’m coaching executives and leaders, I tell them, “A leader’s first calling is to grow.”

And yet, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken in an organization where the leader comes in for the first few minutes of my program … and then leaves. Whether they know it or not, those kinds of leaders send the message that they don’t need to know what is being taught … or they have more important things to do.

And does the leaving of the leader make a difference? You bet. It mystifies, confuses, or even angers the program attendees.

One of the most frequent comments on my program evaluation form is “This was a great seminar, but WHO REALLY NEEDS to hear this stuff is my boss … or our managers … or our entire leadership team.”

If other people see you as tuned in, well informed, up to date, and continually learning … as a source of important information … you will have more of their trust. If they don’t see that, or if all they see is trivia, gossip, and bias coming out of your mouth, they will see you as a blowhard instead of a trusted advisor, colleague, coworker, friend or marriage partner.

Be a source of important information … if you want to be credible.

That was the case in Los Angeles where the police put together a lineup of suspects in a recent robbery. The detectives asked each man in the lineup to repeat the words: “Give me all your money or I’ll shoot.” Immediately, one man shouted back, “That’s not what I said!”

But that’s what I would call being a source of important information!

► 5. Develop relevant expertise.

As point #4 indicates, you must be a source of important information, but not all information is relevant to those with whom you are speaking. And if you want their trust, your expertise must be relevant to them.

Take your job and your coworkers on the job, for example. Do you know what is required for your job? Do you know everything you need to know about how to do your job? Are you an in-house expert? Does your relevant expertise show up in your excellent performance on the job? Are you up to date on what is happening in your company and industry?

The more “yes” answers you have to those questions, the more credible you will be with your coworkers.

The same is true with anybody else. Do you have expertise that is relevant to them? Without it, they will have a hard time trusting you.

One way to do that is to do some research on what might be important and relevant to the other person before you go and talk to them. The best salespeople always do that.

Another way to do be relevant is to look for ways to make someone else’s job easier. Ask your coworkers once in a while, “What can I do to make your job easier?” They may fall out of their chair. They may say, “Nothing, really. But thanks for asking.” Or they may give you a simple idea that you would have never thought about.

And ask your customers “What else can I do to be of more help?” Your sincerity will go a long way towards strengthening your relationship and building more trust.

When Michelle Barthel, a lab manager at Spearfish Regional Hospital, attended my Journey-to-the-Extraordinary experience, she got serious about using the techniques she learned about what it takes to fully engage others. She says,

“I’m delighted that I attended your Journey because I learned skills and strategies for each and every part of my life. And using your techniques, I’ve been able to improve my relationships, build more trust, advance my career, and even improve my finances. I’ve been able to break my old destructive habits and replace them with new and better ones.

I accomplished all the goals I set at the Journey. Needless to say, I’m thrilled with the results I’ve gotten from the Journey and would advise others to attend.”

► 6. Project dynamism.

Simply put, you’ll have more credibility and be considered more trustworthy if you are naturally, genuinely enthusiastic. It’s hard to trust a slug or person doing just enough to get by.

You see, no matter what personal or professional relationship you are in, you are never “energy neutral.” As Richard H. Lenny, the Chairman and CEO of Hershey Foods, said “We can create energy, or we can sap energy out of our people and out of our organization.”

Just so you’re clear, dynamism doesn’t mean you have to be or even should be an over-the-top, in-your-face, loudmouthed individual. It might be as simple as a certain internal strength, a quiet humbleness, and letting go of the need to be right all the time.

By contrast, non-trusted people find it almost impossible to admit their mistakes, apologize, and ask for forgiveness. They’ve got to be right … or at least look like they’re right … no matter what. And that ultimately destroys their effectiveness.

After all, if the boss is always right, the team could get to feel like they’re always wrong. And that doesn’t feel good. It’s disrespectful and demotivating.

Trusted leaders are the ones who can say, with truthful dynamism, “I was wrong. I’ve learned to see things differently. I’ve learned a better way.”

Hopefully you just learned a better way to become more credible and trustworthy by reading today’s Tuesday Tip