How to Get People to Trust You
You need people to believe you, have confidence in you and depend on you. If people cannot trust you, you will not succeed.
Losing trust is easy. You forget a promise you made. You fail to do what you said you would do. You decided to ignore an agreement you made.
When business owners, executives and managers cannot be trusted, no one buys from them or works for them for long. Bankruptcies, lawsuits and government investigations start with broken agreements. Partnerships do not survive when a partner breaks his or her agreements.
Governments also run into trouble when they break their word. When its citizens or other countries expect one thing and get another, they demand new leadership.
Trust is essential to marriages. In fact, you could say most divorces stem from broken agreements. “She agreed to not have an affair!” “He was going to treat me well!” “I thought I was going to be getting a husband/wife who ________.”
“One’s regard for another is based, in no small degree, on whether or not the person keeps his or her word. Even parents, for instance, would be surprised at the extent they drop in the opinion of their children when a promise is not kept.”
“People who keep their word are trusted and admired. People who do not are regarded like garbage. Those who break their word often never get another chance.”
“One should never permit another to give his or her word lightly. And one should insist that when a promise is made, it must be kept.”
“Keep your word once given.” — L. Ron Hubbard from The Way to Happiness
Three Foolproof Steps to Earning Trust
1. Make promises you will always keep.
When you know you can do something or provide a specific result, don’t hesitate to say so. Look people in the eye and tell them the truth. “I will complete that project by Friday.” “If the car won’t start, call us and we’ll send a tow truck within an hour.” “You can deposit the check today.”
If you are not sure if you can keep a promise or hold up your end of an agreement, say so. “I wish I could guarantee this investment will work for you, but I can’t.” “This computer will work perfectly 95% of the time, but not 100% of the time.” “If you follow all of our advice, you will do well. If you only follow some of our advice, you may or may not do well.”
2. Keep all of your promises, large and small.
Many people see nothing wrong with breaking small promises, but this is a big mistake. For example, you say, “I’ll call you Tuesday” but then you don’t call until Thursday. You say, “I won’t tell anyone about your wife’s drinking problem,” but then you tell a few people anyway. You say, “I’ll pay you back tomorrow,” but then you completely forget.
If you don’t take any of your promises seriously, you damage your reputation. You appear disorganized or irresponsible. You make the other person feel unimportant which makes him or her treat you the same way.
When people see that you keep your word on everything, including the small things, they are more likely to believe you can keep your word on big things.
People then say things like, “Thanks for remembering to send me the file this morning.” “You’re the only one who paid me for yesterday’s lunch.” “You stopped by on Saturday morning at 8AM, just as you said you would. Thank you.”
Keeping your big promises is like a freeway to your ultimate success. “Everything you said about this car turned out to be true. I’ve told all my friends during our coffee shop meetings and I’m back to buy one from you for my daughter. I’ll only work with you.” “You’re the best boss I’ve ever had as you always keep your agreements to me and everyone on my team. I will be there for you for one more year.” “Wow, you actually got this job done on time! Here’s your payment. Now, I have 10 more jobs just like this one; are you interested?”
3. When keeping your word is difficult, do it anyway.
If you can’t hold up your end, don’t rationalize or make excuses. “He won’t care if my payment is a week late; I’ll just blame COVID.” “She knows I’m usually on time; she will understand why I’m late.” “They don’t treat me with respect, so I don’t need to honor their contract.”
You can renegotiate your agreement, which is better than nothing. “I know I said I’d pick you up at 4PM, but I just can’t make it. How about 5PM?” “Our contract says I need to pay you $50,000 next week, but since my government loan is late, can we change it to next month?” “I know I agreed to keep our dog quiet at night, but my job hours changed, and my headaches are back. I’ll try next week, okay?”
Changing your agreement shows you made the promise without thinking it through or that you simply cannot keep your word. You hurt your personal PR image to an extent.
Instead, make it go right. “Even though my car had to go to the shop, and even though someone bounced a check on me, here is your payment, as promised, on time.” Even better, simply say, “Here’s your payment.”
If you regret a promise you have made, too bad. Do whatever you need to do to keep your word. “I said I’d have 100 pages done by tomorrow? What’s wrong with me? I should have known better. However, I need to boost my reputation. I’ll stay up all night and get all 100 pages DONE.”
Figure it out, break a sweat, push yourself, get some help, work harder, persist, make demands, get your hands dirty and make it go right despite EVERYTHING.
Just keep your word, every time, and all will be well for you.
10 Benefits of Earning Trust
1. You build an excellent reputation.
2. You spend less time convincing people to do what you ask them to do.
3. Because you are dependable, people offer you new opportunities.
4. You have more pride as you trust yourself.
5. Even if someone disagrees with you, he or she respects you.
6. If everyone involved in a business deal trusts each other, the deal works well.
7. You can make bigger and bigger promises and earn bigger and bigger rewards.
8. People who trust you have no reason to attack you or criticize you.
9. Your marriage is more successful.
10. When people trust you, they enjoy helping you to succeed. You can use all the help you can get!