“What will be our focus?” I was asked.
In a flash my thoughts returned to an experience from 25 years ago.
I recalled one client visit, where I was approaching the close of a sale. I vividly remember that I leaned over to the client, touching her on the wrist and said “it will be okay.” I’m not quite sure what came over me, but it was a powerful act of reassurance that closed the sale. It was one of those “in the moment” experiences and it just felt like the right thing to do. It was all a matter of 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐭.
𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐭 is the key to building strong relationships – i.e. to rely upon or place confidence in someone or something.
Reflecting on that experience many times over, it was a particularly dangerous move, violating her personal space, touching someone, even just momentarily, that I hardly knew. If that were to happen today, I’d possibly be accused of something much more sinister!
Someone then asked…

“How do we build trust?”

I shared the trust equation.
– Credibility, the words we speak.
– Reliability, the actions we take and things we do.
– Intimacy, the stories we tell and how safe others feel around us.
– Self orientation, the extent we focus on ourselves or others.
In their book “The Trusted Advisor”(Maister, Green and Galford), propose that the level of trust we have with a person will depend on the depth of our personal relationship (intimacy & self-interest) and the breadth of issues that they are willing to discuss with us (credibility & reliability). Increasing the level of any of the variables in the numerator increases the level of trustworthiness. Decreasing the value of the denominator – will have the same effect. In other words, we can increase the level of trust in a relationship by focusing on any of these four factors.
“Trust is the glue of life. It is the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the most foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen Covey.
That one intimate moment, coupled with credibility, reliability and focusing on the needs of others was the the foundation of my sales career. Little did I know it at the time, but my determination to live and breathe those principles in my daily actions, were the key to success.
Time will pass, but when trust is present, years will go by and it will seem as if it was but the twinkling of an eye.