For the sake of what do we want to build trust? We are often reminded of that it´s a good thing to build trust, and have you ever stopped to ask yourself ´really, why is it important´? Does it really affect my results or the results of my company? Or is it just ´nice´?

Emotional intelligence: With trust everything is easier

Trust is the mood that preceedes collaborating with other people as well as teamwork.  When we trust someone we want to work with that person. You might find people that work together because they have no other choice, but if there is no trust they are likely to leave the relationship when they do have choice.  In forced relationships, like in a monopoly market situation, that is often the case.

In relationships based on trust, however, we are in that relationship because we want to and are likely to stay longer.  Obviously, in sales it´s important to inspire trust, otherwise we wouldn´t want to buy from that person in the first place. And we don´t stay in business relationships when we don´t believe we can trust a supplier.

Some business will not even take place without a high level of trust – particularly when there is a lot at stake, or risks are high.

Trust stimulates innovation and creativity. When we trust eachother we dare take more risks and ´think out of the box´. In this context, we obviously also need to trust that nothing will happen to us if we make mistakes!

Lack of trust creates waste in organisations. People tend to complain more and speculate, rather than dedicate themselves to creating action and get on with their business. They also tend to spend time taking precautions, just in case the other person wouldn´t deliver on what they said they were going to do. Action is slower.

So, how do you inspire trust?

In order to inpire trust, it is important to be coherent. Trust is something we cannot fake, or pretend. We inspire trust when we are coherent  between  what our body communicates, the mood we´re in and what we say.  When what we say is not accompanied by a coherent emotion or body attitude, it “doesn´t feel right” for the other person. They know something feels strange – they can feel it in their body and they know that for some reason they can´t trust the other person.

For example,  if we say “I´m satisfied”  in an angry tone of voice or with a tense body, we come across as incoherent or not trustworthy. A tense body feels threatening and doesn´t inpire trust – quite the opposite.

To create trust, it is also important that we deliver on our promises. We create trust when we do what we said we were going to do. Sometimes that is not possible and then it´s important to let the other person know as soon as possible: I will not be able to keep my promise – and then make a new promise. In this way trust is not damaged, but managed.

So therefore it is important to only promise what I can really promise and deliver on. People who have difficulty in saying ´no´ to requests are likely to be seen as not trustworthy and that they don´t deliver.

In order to manage trust it is also important to be very clear on what it is we are going to deliver and what the other person will be satisfied with. Therefore, when we agree on something, we need to be as explicit as posible, so that it is less likely to produce misunderstandings. These misunderstandings can be percieved as ´being dishonest´ , meaning ´you didn´t produce what you said you were going to produce´, when in fact we just had different ideas on what the outcome was supposed to be.

Remember that trust is managed. And that it is something we earn from other people. It is what they feel when they are with us and not something we can actively create in them. We all sometimes behave in ways that  can seem not trustworthy to other people, even though we know we had good intentions. If we are aware of how we behave and how other people percieve us, we can repare when trust has been lost.

by Susanna Lindblom, Executive Coach

Bildquellenangabe: Peter Smola  /