► 3. Consistently demonstrate reliability and follow-through.
You’ve got to do what you say you’re going to do. Follow through on your promises. So other people know that your word is your bond. They can take it to the bank.
Simply put, if you’re going to build trust with anyone, personally or professionally, there should seldom be an excuse for you not keeping your word.
Of course, on rare occasions, all hell can break loose or an emergency enters your life when you can’t or don’t follow through. But the operative word is rare. Such things as “you don’t feel like it” or “you changed your mind” or “you’re busy” are no excuse for not keeping your word … if you want relationships filled with trust.
Sarah came up to me during a break in a seminar I was conducting. She said, “Dr. Z, I really WANT to move up in my job but I just can’t.” The truth was she wouldn’t follow through on any of the things that would move her up in her job.
When I asked about her personal development plan and what she was doing to move up in her job, she admitted that she avoided the various training programs that her company offered as much as possible. And when she did go, she didn’t listen that carefully to the speaker or follow through on what she learned. And she never invested any of her own money into training programs outside the company.
So I knew the answer to her question — why she wasn’t moving up in her job. She wasn’t reliable or following through on any of the things she needed to do. As a result, she didn’t trust herself and neither did the bosses who could have promoted her.
I let her know things could and would be different if she attended my Journey-to-the-Extraordinary program, because it has a built-in follow-through component. She did attend and later wrote me this note:
“Your Journey-to-the-Extraordinary program is unlike any other program I’ve ever attended. Previously, no matter how good the course might have been, and despite my good intentions to get back to the material and use it later, ‘later’ never came.
“One of the major reasons the Journey works is your reinforcement program. You kept in touch with us. You kept on sending us reinforcements every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday … which made it so much easier for me to put into practice what I learned at the Journey. Brilliant! As a result, I’m winning the battle of losing weight, exercising regularly, and focusing on the key priorities at work and at home. And this is just the start.”
Those are three of the six behaviors you must exhibit to build trust-filled relationships with others. Work on them this week and come back for next week’s Tuesday Tip to learn the other three behaviors.