Trust In Times Of Difficulty

Developing Trust In Times Of Difficulty

I greet every person reading this with warmth but most importantly I hope that you are in a good space and if you happen not to be, I believe this moment of difficulty will soon pass. I am blessed to be in a position where many people care for me but additionally I am grateful to have many people say great things about me. 

I recently did an exercise where I asked people who knew me to describe me and the most popular virtue was that I was trustworthy. This was not a surprise as I have done talks on leadership and integrity which all centred around developing trust. However although I knew this, I was humbled to hear this from my peers and colleagues. 

What gave the team, clients and my peers the trust in me was how I dealt with difficult times and as MLK said ‘We have some difficult times ahead but I am not worried’. Below is my advice on how to develop trust in times of difficulty..

  1. Tell them what they are facing

This is essential when speaking to people in troubling periods, if you listen carefully to what people are concerned about you show empathy and understanding. In business a consumer or client will have a particular problem, want, need or desire, once you display an understanding of what they are faced with the amount of trust and belief they have in you and your business ramps up exponentially.

Remember people that you interact with don’t care what your CV is, they do not care at all. Your resume correlates loosely with whether or not you can do the job or understand the challenge at that present time.

If you understand the challenges they are faced with nothing else matters. 

  1. Be predictable 

“As soon as you begin to make things more predictable they trust you more”

How do you become more predictable in a time shrouded by uncertainty. Very simple. This is one area I have really developed on in the last few years. I have a great friend to thank for holding me accountable to this. 

Remember this in life no one is forcing you to say anything, so do not say anything that is false. No matter how much pressure you face, honesty is the best policy. Nonetheless what you can do is stick to your word. If you say your gonna send an update via email by 5PM do so and ideally do so by 4PM but never later than 5PM. If you say to your friend I am gonna call you back, call them back or do not say it at all. Better late than never is not acceptable because late is the same as never, it never happened at the time you initially agreed. 

You try this and I promise (Remember I would not promise if I could not deliver), business and people will flock to you in the masses as there are so many people who struggle to stick to their word. You will be seen as quintessential in your line of work and synonymous with integrity. 

The fear of the unknown is what causes stress. When things go wrong people don’t know when it’s going to be over. With traumatic stress people are overwhelmed because they don’t know when it will end.

  1. Finally ‘The last impression is the lasting impression’

You have heard about leaving a ‘good first impression’ but I strongly believe that leaving a powerful ‘lasting impression’ will embed the memory of you in the minds of the people you wish to impact.

People do not remember conversations on how they happened; they remember conversations on the intensity and on how they end. The last impression is the lasting impression. A proven way to practice this is by calling a stakeholder first, delivering the information whether good or bad and then making a genuine honest enquiry on who they are as a human being. They will remember this and carry it into the next conversation. Find a way to end positively no matter what because that’s what lingers in people’s mind! 

TIP: When giving people bad news it helps to brace people first but not for too long. Give them a warning. Hi, Are you in a quiet place as ‘I have bad news’. 

Format: 

  • Warning 
  • Bad news 
  • This is how we gonna deal with it 
  • Lasting Impression

Finally remember that getting people to say yes is a poor indicator of how secure they are in you. Getting clients, customers, people to say that’s right is powerful and more powerful than yes. That is in the indication of success but importantly the seal of approval!

Summary 

Most people do not expect perfection; they want to be able to rely on you. Once they trust you that’s when your professionalism and expertise is displayed. So before you say something always remember you are in the trust business. 

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