Category Archives: Building Trust

TEDxMaastricht – Simon Sinek – “First why and then trust” – YouTube

Uploaded on Apr 6, 2011 Simon Sinek (@simonsinek) created a simple model, The Golden Circle, that codifies what makes the most inspiring people and organizations so successful and influential. Beginning as a student in anthropology, Simon Sinek turned his fascination with people into a career of convincing people to do what inspires them. Through his struggle to rediscover his excitement about life and work, he made some profound realizations and began helping his friends and their friends to find their “why” — at first charging just $100, person by person. Never planning to write a book, he penned Start With Why simply as a way to distribute his message. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home everyday feeling fulfilled by their work, Sinek is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. Now Simon takes the next step. After why comes : trust. What is TEDx? In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxMaastricht, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxMaastricht event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized. Please take a look at this video that explains what TEDx has become: About TED TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani,Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. Category People & Blogs

How to build trust – Borino’s tips for real estate agents – YouTube

Uploaded on Dec 5, 2011 — Tips for real estate agents how to build trust with sellers. Download free expired listing letters plus tips on how to list expireds. For a complete system to list expired listings visit

101 Simple Ways to Build Trust | Embrace Possibility Blog

101 Simple Ways to Build Trust

The most valuable asset you can have is trust. It allows for flow and openness. When there is no trust, it becomes harder to get anything done. Think of one of your relationships where there is a lot of trust. Now think of another one with very little trust.

Which one do you prefer?

We can all be better off with more trust in our lives and I’m going to show you a “few” things you can do to build that trust.

Please note: My definition of “client” is anyone that has a relationship with you. This can be your spouse, your boss, your customer, your friend, etc.

Before we look at the different ways you can build trust, let’s look at the benefits of trust:

You become influential – people will seek you out for advice and follow your recommendations without much persuading.

You get valuable information – your clients will open up to you when they trust you. They’ll give you valuable information and feedback.

You can serve your clients more effectively – with access to insider information (#2), you can get to the root of the problem and really make a difference for your client.

You will get more business – people refer you when they trust you. This leads to high quality leads. Would you refer someone you didn’t trust?

You get less stressed – when your clients trust you, they give you the benefit of the doubt. Whether you’re running late for a meeting or hanging out late with friends, it’s less stressful to know that people will be understanding and forgiving.

You avoid bigger problems – with trust, your clients will communicate with you earlier on and warn you of any issues they are seeing. With enough trust, your clients will go out of their way to protect you.

You have more effective negotiations – research has shown that subjects who thought they were collaborators struck better deals than subjects who thought they were competitors. Surprise, surprise.

Now that you see the benefits of getting trust, here are a 101 ways to build trust (no particular order):

How to Build Trust

1. Be honest – if you tell the truth, your clients will trust you. Always be honest especially when no one is looking.

2. Respect your client – treat your clients with the same respect you would show the President of your country. Respect their time as well by never being late. If you need help being on time, check out How to Always Be On Time.

3. Sincerely care – when you truly care about others, it is hard not to trust you.

4. Ask open-ended questions – learn more about your client and be interested in their answers. Open-ended questions give your client the opportunity to tell you about themselves. Ask more questions based on the answers that you get.

5. Don’t be perfect – there is always something fishy about someone who seems to have everything going for them. Don’t waste your energy hiding your mistakes or weaknesses. This sends a message that you’re not hiding anything and that you want to build trust.

6. Don’t look at your watch – we’re all on a tight schedule but looking at your watch when someone is talking is rude. If you must be wary of the time, ask for permission to look at your watch.

7. Find the win-win – in negotiations, always look for the win-win outcome. Win-lose outcomes are one-time only events. When both parties win, you strengthen the relationship.

8. Don’t hedge your answers – be definitive when you can. When you hedge your answers, you are giving yourself an “out”. How can anyone trust you when you keep dodging responsibility. Politicians are notorious for hedging their answers. How much do you trust your politician?

9. Have your clients best interests in mind – clients know when you are looking out for them and when you are looking out for yourself. It’s hard to trust you when there is a conflict of interests.

10. Don’t show off – it puts people off and you come off like a self promoter interested in your own success and not the success of others. This breeds resentment more than trust.

11. Ask others to endorse you – if you prove yourself trustworthy and you offer great products and services, don’t be afraid to ask your clients to recommend you. It’s easier for others to trust you if someone they already trust endorses you.

12. Paraphrase what was said – giving the information back to the client in your own words is a great way to show you were listening and to demonstrate your understanding. People trust others who take the time to listen.

13. Be transparent – I have issues trusting people or companies who are not fully transparent. For example: companies that deliberately hide their prices for their products and services.

14. Call your client – relationships get weaker if you don’t nurture them. Call your clients on a periodic basis, not only when you need to sell them something.

15. Take responsibility – when something goes wrong and it’s your fault, take responsibility right away and focus on the next steps. It’s easier to trust someone who owns up to their mistakes.

16. Take whatever is being said seriously – don’t dismiss another person’s problem as being small or counter with the size of your own problems. Just listen. Whatever they are going through is real and serious for them and you should treat it as such.

17. Add value – value is what people are willing to pay for. Keep doing great work that adds value and others will reward you with trust.

18. Form a common enemy – when you focus on a common cause, it naturally builds trust and rapport to deal with the issue.

19. Be poised – its hard to trust someone who gets emotional easily. Breathing helps.

20. Empathize – acknowledge the feelings behind what is being said and show empathy. Your clients will trust you more when they feel that you understand them.

21. Make the client feel significant – this is a basic human need and if you fulfill it, people will trust you. Always be sincere when making your clients feel important. They can tell if you’re faking it.

22. Be accessible – when people know they can get access to you, it builds trust because they can hold you accountable. People who I can’t reach always seem less trustworthy to me.

23. Look people in the eye – if you constantly shift your eyes, it makes people suspicious of you.

24. Remove distractions – if you’re meeting with clients, remove all distractions (turn off phone, computer screen, etc.) and give them your undivided attention.

25. Have high self-esteem – be comfortable with who you are. Don’t try so hard to impress, it makes you look wishy-washy. Be careful about these other warning signs of low self-esteem.

26. Show commitment – when you show commitment, people trust you. Think of men who propose (and actually get married), employees who sign employment contracts and people who always show up when they say they will.

27. Say “I don’t know” – admit that you don’t know and say it upfront and direct. You’ll get a lot of credibility for that.

28. Deliver what you promise – Do what you say you are going to do. This is one of the best ways to build trust.

29. Use a real picture – if you have an online presence, use a real picture of yourself. An authentic picture lets me know that you’re not afraid to put yourself out there and you’re willing to be responsible for what you write on your website and blog.

30. Be vulnerable – trust builds when you open up. Don’t hide your human side, that’s the side that people connect to.

31. Volunteer information – don’t wait until someone follows up to give information that is important to them. Let them know as soon as you know.

32. Know your audience – make sure you use language that your client will understand. If you’re not talking to a technical person, don’t use technical language.

33. Take time to explain – when your client is confused, be patient and take time to help them understand. They’ll appreciate you for it and reciprocate the next time you’re confused.

34. Don’t abuse privileges – as you gain more trust, you’ll be given more privileges. Don’t abuse those privileges.

35. Don’t fidget – be aware of your body movements. Minimize your leg shakes, body shifts and hand fidgets. It’s hard to trust someone who seems nervous or anxious.

36. Stay up-to-date – your clients’ situation, preferences and needs change over time. It’s up to you to keep up-to-date through proactive communication. Don’t wait for your clients to update you.

37. Give proper feedback – if you want to build trust, you need to tell your client the truth when they make mistakes. “Yes Men” are not very trustworthy

38. Don’t name-drop – you might think this will help build your credibility but when you a drop names, it’s a turn off. It seems like you’re using that person’s name to compensate for your abilities. For better results, have others endorse you (#16).

39. Stand up for your client – if you feel your client is being taken advantage of in any way, stand up for them or at the very least, inform them of what’s going on.

40. Make it personal – get out of the office and meet your clients face-to-face. You need to get personal to build deep trust.

41. Give good advice – if your advice helps people, they’ll trust you and your advice even more.

42. Go ABCD – go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. I didn’t make the acronym up but ABCD is a great strategy for building trust. Always look for ways to over deliver.

43. Don’t hard sell – You may have the best product or service out there that everyone can benefit from but no one likes to be sold to or feel forced to do things. Build a relationship, educate and persuade, not badger. Check out Permission Marketing by Seth Godin (affiliate) or my How to Sell with Integrity Series.

44. Share ideas – when you come across good ideas, share them with your clients. Share ideas that demonstrate your deep understanding of your clients’ needs.

45. Return calls quickly – if someone leaves a message, call them back as soon as you can. This makes the other person feel important and makes them like and trust you more.

46. Be curious – ask questions and be genuinely interested to learn more. Resist taking over the conversation or trying to immediately solve the problem or issue.

47. Keep secrets – if a client tells you something confidential, keep it to yourself unless it violates your moral and ethical standards.

48. Don’t over-explain – When you over-explain, you’re trying to remove yourself from being responsible. This is one of the best ways to lose someone’s trust.

49. Show compassion – step into the other person’s shoes. When something bad happens to your clients, express your sympathies.

50. Value the relationship – show your client that you’re in it for the long-term and demonstrate that you value the relationship. This may mean taking the first step in a compromise.

51. Ask for clarification – when asked a question, always clarify it before answering. Think Columbo – “I may be a little slow here…”

52. Know your outcome – if your goal is to build trust, then your desire to help the client should surpass your desire to be right or to win. Remember this next time you are trying to prove how right you are at the expense of your relationship to the client.

53. Don’t use a “fake” voice – some people I know use a “professional” voice that isn’t their own. Use your own voice. If you don’t like how it sounds, get some voice lessons, they work.

54. Don’t manipulate – it is possible to use the ideas on this list with the intention to manipulate. Don’t do it because it won’t end well. It never does.

55. Don’t lie – one small lie can destroy a mountain of trust.

56. Understand that your client is unique – every person in this world is unique and should be treated as such. A one size fits all approach rarely works.

57. Don’t finish other people’s sentences – even if they are taking a long time at it, be patient and let them say it.

58. Don’t try too hard – when you are overly servile or deferential, it can be fairly annoying. I find it hard to trust anyone who cannot think and act for themselves.

59. Never talk down to anyone – there is no situation where this is acceptable.

60. Be competent – always work to improve your skills. If you want to be trusted, you need to be competent. This is especially important in a leadership role. Think back to any bosses you’ve had that were incompetent. Did you trust them?

61. Say what you mean – if you think it’s a bad idea, say so. When you build up a reputation of saying what you mean, people don’t have to second guess what you’re trying to say. This helps to increase your trustworthiness.

62. Focus on your similarities – highlight what you have in common with the other person. We like people who are similar and we trust people whom we like.

63. Listen attentively – Replay for the other person something that shows you’ve listened carefully. This is especially effective when you bring up and help someone with challenges they’ve told you about in previous conversations where they don’t expect you to remember.

64. Think abundance – adopt the belief that there is enough for everyone and you are not in competition for limited resources. Actions that reflect this belief builds trust because you become more collaborative with those around you and work to raise people up as opposed to putting them down.

65. Send a birthday card – there is no better way to show that you care than to remember someone’s birthday and to get them a nice card. In this internet age, a handwritten card goes a long way.

66. Give specific compliments – the more specific your compliment, the more sincere it usually is. It shows that you took time to notice.

67. Start and end meetings on time – if you set up a meeting, make sure the agenda is clear and that the meeting starts and more importantly, ends on time.

68. Be consistent – don’t change your views on a whim. It makes people distrustful.

69. Read books related to emotional intelligence – How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman are good places to start.

70. Don’t gossip – don’t gossip about your clients, don’t gossip about others to your clients.

71. Give freebies – if you sell a product or service, consider giving a free version of it. It allows you to help those without resources to access your expertise. Make sure your freebies are of high quality and valuable.

72. Remember names – there is nothing more interesting to us than our own names. Show that you remember the other person’s name. If you need help, check out How to Remember Names Even If You Have Bad Memory.

73. Trust others first – people treat you the way you treat them. Give trust first if you want to get trust.

74. Be comfortable with silence – don’t feel obligated to fill in the silence. I know it can be uncomfortable but let the other person think through their ideas and allow them to break the silence first.

75. Be responsive – if someone is unable to reach you, make sure you respond within 24 hours with an acknowledgment or have a auto-reply message explaining the exact times when you can be reached.

76. Have integrity – stick to your beliefs and values no matter what. Check out this article on the Importance of Keeping Integrity in the Workplace.

77. Allow others to help you – sometimes we are so focused on giving that we do not allow others to give to us. Doing this robs them of the joy of giving. Let others give.

78. Don’t blame – when things go wrong, don’t point fingers. Empower yourself by taking responsibility and then determining what you’re going to do next. Don’t waste the present thinking about the past that can’t be changed. A person that doesn’t blame quickly gains the trust of others.

79. Be yourself – don’t change who you are to please other people. It’s tiring for everyone. If you don’t know how to be yourself, check out this article by Chris Guillebeau.

80. Express emotions – “just the facts” may be appropriate during an investigation but when dealing with people, emotions add the human element which is key for building trust

81. Pay attention – be attentive to the body language to make sure it matches the meaning of the spoken language.

82. Don’t prejudge – listen with an open mind and take in what is being said without coloring it with your own judgments.

83. Understand that the map is not the territory – our reality is only our perception of reality. Understanding that everyone perceives the world differently allows us to be more open-minded and accepting of ideas.

84. Don’t interrupt – when you interrupt, you are telling everyone that what you have to say is more important than what anyone else has to say.

85. Get testimonials – if you do great work, ask your clients to write testimonials for you. These are the first things I read before buying anything. Never fake testimonials.

86. Don’t be a know-it-all – you can’t possibly know how to do everything and you don’t need to. Always be transparent about what you know and don’t imply that you know more that you actually do. Being human is a good thing.

87. Have passion – when I see someone who is motivated by their passion and not money, status or power, I am more inclined to trust them. Perhaps it is the feeling that they are not trying to take anything away from me but rather they are building something great.

88. Show loyalty – a person that demonstrates firm and constant support is usually a person that other people want to trust.

89. Do your research – make an effort to understand your client. The more you get them, the faster they’ll think of you as an insider. Your goal is to be invited to the inner circle.

90. Give credit – the more credit you give to others, the more people will trust you. “There is no limit to the good man can do if he doesn’t care who gets the credit.” – Judson B. Branch

91. Have an opinion – people who never take sides have trouble building trust because they are not willing to take a stand.

92. Don’t expect anything in return – help people and don’t expect anything in return. You’ll be happier for it and giving is always better than receiving.

93. Uphold accountability – trust is not about letting things slide. It’s about doing what is best for your client.

94. Never exaggerate – it’s tempting to play up the benefits about your products and services but exaggerations never end well. Any form of “truth stretching” is a bad idea if you want to build trust.

95. Make things right – when you make a mistake, in addition to learning from it, you should make it right in some way. At Pret-a-Manger, when they got my order wrong, they gave me my order for free along with a free cup of coffee. I now go twice as often.

96. Don’t flatter – insincere compliments are one of the quickest ways to lose rapport and trust with someone.

97. Trust yourself – you can’t give what you don’t have and you can’t get what you don’t give (say that 5 times fast).

98. Be fair – treat people fairly. Like a good parent, don’t play favorites. Reward and punish accordingly.

99. Help their children – if you have clients who have children, find a way to help their kids. You can give them advice, write a letter of recommendation or give them a job. Your deeds will definitely not be forgotten and you’ll find yourself being introduced as a friend of the family.

100. Don’t give up – just because someone doesn’t trust you now, doesn’t mean you can’t build it. If what you’re doing is not working, try something else. You have 101 things you can do.

101. Be enthusiastic – most people can’t fake enthusiasm. When you are enthusiastic about what you do, people are more likely to trust you.

Here is bonus tip:

102. Lead by example – walk your talk.

So which trust building tips resonated with you? Were there any that I missed?

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with anyone you think might benefit from reading it.

via 101 Simple Ways to Build Trust | Embrace Possibility Blog.

The Best Way for New Leaders to Build Trust – HBR

The Best Way for New Leaders to Build Trust

Jim Dougherty

DECEMBER 13, 2013

When I took over as CEO of Intralinks,  a company that provides secure web based electronic deal rooms, the company was hemorrhaging so much cash that its survival was at stake. The service was going down three times per week; we were in violation of the contract with our largest client; our chief administrative officer had just been demoted, and so on.

So, what I do on my first day? I spent more than four hours  listening in to client support calls at the call center.  I shared headsets with many of the team, moving from desk to desk to speak to the reps. To say they were surprised is an understatement: Many CEOs never visit the call center, and virtually none do it their first afternoon on the job.

I made this my priority partly because I wanted to know what customers were saying—but also to make an internal statement. I knew there had to be some radical changes to behaviors, expectations, and attitudes.  There was no time to be subtle.  I needed to show I was different, that things were going to be different, and I needed to establish trust as quickly as possible.

In leading various companies over the years, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that establishing trust is the top priority. Whether you are taking over a small department, an entire division, a company, or even a Boy Scout troop, the first thing you must get is the trust of the members of that entity.  When asked, most leaders will agree to this notion, but few do anything to act on it.

Without trust, it is very unlikely you will learn the truth on what is really going on in that organization and in the market place.  Without trust, employees won’t level with you—at best, you’ll learn either non-truths or part truths. I see this all too frequently. Sometimes employees will go out of their way to hoard and distort the truth.

The best way to start building trust to take the time and meet as many individual contributors as you can as soon as you can. In addition to meeting customers, meeting rank-and-file employees should be your top priority.

This is not a common approach. Many leaders see their role as directing and giving information, rather than gathering.  There is pressure to “come up with the answer” quickly or risk looking weak.  Too many new leaders believe they’re expected to know the answer without input or guidance. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Doing this correctly takes time—but less than you might think. The meetings can be on one on one or small groups.  The sessions can’t be rushed.  In the first few weeks I’d suggest you spend up to half your time in these meetings. Take a pad and take notes.  Listen intently.  A simple but effective open-ended question is: “If you were put into my role tomorrow, what would be the first three things you’d do and why?”  Or: “What are the three biggest barriers to our success, and what are our three biggest opportunities we have?” Really great ideas can emerge from these meetings—along with some really mediocre ones—but it’s your job to filter and prioritize them. First, gather the information.

Later on my first day at Intralinks, I began arranging meetings with individual contributors. That’s where my learning really began. Over the next few weeks I met with over 60 individual contributors. Not only did I learn a lot, but I convinced them that I cared what they thought and could be trusted with the truth.

In the middle of my first week as CEO, one of the company’s original VCs called. “So, what’s your plan?” he asked. I said I have to spend a few weeks learning. He was incredulous that I did not have a pre-baked plan. I was incredulous he thought that I should.

Over those weeks I learned how unhappy clients were with our complex bills, why service went down so often, why our pricing gave our clients headaches, that 80% of the customer calls could be eliminated with a simple fix to our service, and that clients wanted predictability of expenditures with us.

After six weeks, I had enough information to return to the management team with specific recommendations on what I thought we should do. Instead of just laying this out in an all-hands meeting, I began laying out the plan in one-on-one meetings in which I talked about how each individual’s feedback had helped guide my thinking. This created a tremendous buy in among all levels of the team.

By mid March, after only 10 weeks on the job, we rolled out the new plan. By the end of the year we’d signed 150 new long-term contracts (up from zero), revenue was up by almost 600%, our burn rate was cut by 75%, and we’d positioned ourselves to raise a $50 million round of financing a few months later in the heart of the winter.

None of this could have happened without building the trust of the team. New leaders must remember that many of the best insights on how to fix a company lie with employees further down the org chart. Creating a trusting, honest dialogue with these key personnel should be every new leader’s top priority.

via The Best Way for New Leaders to Build Trust – HBR.

The Simplest Way to Build Trust – Harvard Business Review

The Simplest Way to Build Trust

David DeSteno

JUNE 2, 2014


In the midst of an intense negotiation, it’s hard to know what’s motivating the person across the table — is he willing to cooperate with you to meet both your interests or does he only want to serve his? You need to build trust with your counterpart so you can align your interests and increase the likelihood that he will honor his commitments.

A powerful way to establish trust is to employ one of the mind’s most basic mechanisms for determining loyalty: the perception of similarity. If you can make someone feel a link with you, his empathy for and willingness to cooperate with you will increase.

My favorite example of this occurred outside Ypres, Belgium in 1914. The British and the Germans had been fighting a long and bloody battle, but on the eve of December 24th, the British soldiers began to see lights and hear songs from across the field that separated their trenches from those of their foes. They soon recognized that the lights were candles and the songs were Christmas carols. What happened next was rather amazing. The men from both sides came out of their trenches and began to celebrate Christmas together. Men who had hours before been trying to kill each other were now sharing trinkets and family photos in complete trust that no violence would occur. Why? No one knows for certain, but I suspect that it was because in those moments, the men stopped viewing themselves as British and Germans, and rather saw themselves as fellow Christians. They came to perceive themselves as similar, and that meant they could trust each other.

Now you might think I’ve constructed a fanciful theory for a fluke occurrence. Fair enough. My colleague Piercarlo Valdesolo and I wondered the same, so we set out to study it. Although it made good sense that the mind would use similarity as a metric to decide to whom to be loyal, we had no hard proof. To find out if our suspicions were correct, we designed an experiment that allowed us to manipulate similarity stripped down to its most basic elements in order to see how it would affect behavior. To do this, we brought participants into the lab one at a time for what they believed was an experiment on music perception. They put on earphones and sat across from another person, who was actually an actor working with us. The task was simple; all it required was tapping the sensor in front of them with their hand to the beats they heard over their earphones. The beats were designed so that some participants could see their hands tapping in synchrony with the actor (who had his own sensors and headphones), while others would see random, unsynchronized tapping. Why the tapping? Moving in time is an ancient marker the brain uses to discern who’s similar. It occurs in rituals, in military drills, and in team exercises. If you’re moving in time with someone, it’s a symbol that right here, right now, the two of you are a unit.

After the tapping, we had designed a situation where the participants would see the actor get stuck while completing an onerous task from which they themselves were excused. But before they left the experiment, they were offered the opportunity to help the actor complete the onerous tasks if they so desired.

As we expected, relatively few people (18%) decided to come to the aid of the other when they hadn’t been synchronized. But if they had tapped in synchrony, the number who helped (50%) jumped dramatically. What’s more, the increase in helping was directly tied to how similar participants felt toward the actor. Surprising as it may seem, those who tapped in synch believed they shared more in common with the actor than those who didn’t, even though they had never said a word to the actor.

There’s nothing magical about hand tapping. We’ve found the same effect in several ways, including telling people they shared some esoteric (or even phony) characteristic with another. All that’s required to increase people’s willingness to support each other is any subtle marker of similarity.

Try it in your next negotiation.  Find and emphasize something – anything – that will cause your partner to see a link between the two of you, which will form a sense of affiliation. And from that sense of affiliation —  whether or not it’s objectively meaningful – comes a greater likelihood of trustworthy behavior.

via The Simplest Way to Build Trust – HBR.

Brian Halligan: 5 Ways to Build Trust Fast |

Brian Halligan: 5 Ways to Build Trust Fast

Today faith only goes so far. Earning trust is the sure path to success. Brian Halligan, CEO Of HubSpot, shares five tips for building trust fast.


Inc. 500 entrepreneur and best-selling author@KevinJDaum

All collaboration is built on trust. Whether making sales, building a team, or managing people, without trust productivity falls apart. Often, you’ll take action, requiring trust even before it’s earned or secured. You might have to buy, transact, hire, or participate, not on trust but on blind faith…at least until that trust is confirmed, or broken.

Best-selling author and HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan knows a lot about building trust fast. With Halligan’s company adding nearly a person a day, and growing at a screaming 82 percent annually, he has to build trust among his partners, employees, managers, and customers quickly and efficiently. Without trust, HubSpot, the leader in inbound marketing software, would waste valuable resources on politics and concern.

Together, Halligan and I identified key trust-building insights from HubSpot practices. Whether you are a CEO, salesperson, manager, or team member, we’re sure these five tips will help you build trust today:

1. Be Transparent and Consistent

Inspired by the book The Cluetrain Manifesto, Halligan and co-founder Dharmesh Shah dedicated the company to open book management and transparency. Nearly every aspect of financials is shared with employees, investors, and customers alike. As a private company, they’re not required to publish financials, but they do. In fact, they’re publicly releasing 2012 annual numbers today, which you can see right here. Regular communication is encouraged in an open environment with few walls, and no offices, allowing for constant interaction. No question is off limits at HubSpot company meetings. Everyone’s trusted with sensitive information and expected to capitalize on their inclusion by driving the company forward.

Lesson: Share information openly and regularly so people can use it to help. Otherwise they’ll assume you’re definitely hiding something.

2. Tell True and Relevant Stories

When you meet people, you fill in your own story about them until truth is provided. They, of course, do the same about you. People use often-wrong stereotypes and archetypes to gain much-desired context quickly. HubSpot counteracts this with constant storytelling within the company. In today’s meme-dominated world, broadcasting your own real stories of hardship, achievement, success, and failure are important to show patterns of true behavior amongst management, employees, and customers. Co-founder Shah says, “Whether it’s right, wrong, or different, it is. And all of us need to be acutely aware of what’s going on in our business and be able to talk candidly about our company narrative.” Halligan himself takes employees on off-site “Story Walks” to give them insight to HubSpot thinking and culture.

Lesson: Share stories that define how you have dealt with tough situations so people can understand and appreciate your character.

3. Celebrate Individualism

People want to stay in their own comfort zone. Buyers, employees, and managers want to adapt as little as possible when engaging in something new. HubSpot purposefully highlights individual traits among their people. They make the point very quickly that their solutions are adaptable to the way you do business. Internally, they emphasize that people have individual personalities and all are accepted. They often host “Lunch Roulette” where all employees, including senior management, submit their names and are randomly picked to have a company-paid lunch with other HubSpot employees.

Lesson: Let people see who you really are and readily accept them for who they are.  Authenticity is the shortest path to trust and the surest way to keep it.

4. Give People a Preview

Uncertainty makes people uncomfortable and drives distrust. People automatically fill in the worst when there are gaps in the upcoming story. The drama of surprise can be fun, but not when stakes are high and people are making critical decisions. Earn trust by giving information as it comes in even when it’s unfavorable. People handle the truth better than optimistic projections that don’t come true. Halligan not only informs about the present, but shares his intended future tempered with realities of the journey. This way he inspires his team, solicits valuable feedback, and also prepares them for road bumps ahead.  Painting a positive but realistic vision lets HubSpot constituents dream and execute with excitement and confidence.

Lesson: Share where you are going and why. Manage expectations about the journey so fear is minimized and participants can help.

5. Prioritize Safe Authority

Trust doesn’t exist at the outset because people need to prove themselves trustworthy.  Noted credibility and references help, but until people show trust in action you’re flying on faith that they will perform as expected. Give people a chance to try something and succeed early. HubSpot does this immediately by letting people determine their own vacations. Seriously, there is no formal policy or guidelines. Employees are told on day one to “Use good judgment” and then given the authority to design when, where, and how long, to optimize for productivity and lifestyle.

Lesson: Give away authority early, in ways that position people to succeed. They will then trust themselves first, opening them to trust you as an ally in their journey.

via Brian Halligan: 5 Ways to Build Trust Fast |

The Decision to Trust – Harvard Buisness Review

The Decision to Trust

Robert F. Hurley


Roughly half of all managers don’t trust their leaders. That’s what I found when I recently surveyed 450 executives of 30 companies from around the world. Results from a GolinHarris survey of Americans back in 2002 were similarly bleak: 69% of respondents agreed with the statement “I just don’t know who to trust anymore.” In that same year the University of Chicago surveyed 800 Americans and discovered that more than four out of five had “only some” or “hardly any” confidence in the people running major corporations. Granted, trusting corporate leaders in the abstract is different from trusting your own CEO, and some companies and executives are almost universally considered trustworthy; but the general trend is troubling.

It’s troubling because a distrustful environment leads to expensive and sometimes terminal problems. We hardly need reminding of the recent wave of scandals that shattered the public’s faith in corporate leaders. And although you’ll never see a financial statement with a line item labeled “distrust,” the WorldCom fiasco underscores just how expensive broken trust can be. When I teach executive seminars on trust, I ask participants to describe how a working environment feels when it is characterized by low levels of trust. The most frequent responses include “stressful,” “threatening,” “divisive,” “unproductive,” and “tense.” When asked how a high-trust work environment feels, the participants most frequently say “fun,” “supportive,” “motivating,” “productive,” and “comfortable.” Clearly, companies that foster a trusting culture will have a competitive advantage in the war for talent: Who would choose to stay in a stressful, divisive atmosphere if offered a productive, supportive one?

Companies that foster a trusting culture will have an advantage in the war for talent: Who would choose to stay in a stressful, divisive atmosphere if offered a productive, supportive one?

It is crucial, then, for managers to develop a better understanding of trust and of how to manage it. I define trust as confident reliance on someone when you are in a position of vulnerability. Given the pace of change in organizations today—mergers, downsizing, new business models, globalization—it is not surprising that trust is an issue. Fortunately, 50 years of research in social psychology has shown that trust isn’t magically created. In fact, it’s not even that mysterious. When people choose to trust, they have gone through a decision-making process—one involving factors that can be identified, analyzed, and influenced.

This article presents a model that sheds light on how the decision to trust is made. (We will ignore the extremes of complete trust based on blind faith and total distrust based on paranoia, and focus instead on the familiar situation in which uncertainty, possible damage, and multiple other reasons to trust or distrust are combined.) By understanding the mental calculations behind the decision whether or not to trust, managers can create an environment in which trust flourishes.

A Model for Trust

Building on the social psychologist Morton Deutsch’s research on trust, suspicion, and the resolution of conflict, and on my own experience over the past 15 years consulting with organizations and executives on trust, I developed a model that can be used to predict whether an individual will choose to trust or distrust another in a given situation. (See the exhibit “To Trust or Not to Trust?”) I have tested this model, which identifies ten factors at play in the decision-making process, with hundreds of top executives. Using it, they were able to identify relationships that would benefit from greater trust and to diagnose the root causes of distrust. Armed with that knowledge, they took concrete steps that made it easier for others to place confidence in them.

via The Decision to Trust – HBR.

Trust and Trust Building | Beyond Intractability

Trust and Trust Building



Roy J. Lewicki

Edward C. Tomlinson

December 2003


Trust- Overview

“Trust is a peculiar resource; it is built rather than depleted by use.” — Unknown

The phenomenon of trust has been extensively explored by a variety of disciplines across the social sciences, including economics, social psychology, and political science. The breadth of this literature offers rich insight, and this is noted in the common elements that appear in the definition of trust.

For example, Rousseau and her colleagues offer the following definition: “Trust is a psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based upon positive expectations of the intentions or behavior of another.”[1] Similarly, Lewicki and his colleagues describe trust as “an individual’s belief in, and willingness to act on the basis of, the words, actions, and decisions of another.”[2]

Additional insights into trust building are offered by Beyond Intractability project participants.

The need for trust arises from our interdependence with others. We often depend on other people to help us obtain, or at least not to frustrate, the outcomes we value (and they on us). As our interests with others are intertwined, we also must recognize that there is an element of risk involved insofar as we often encounter situations in which we cannot compel the cooperation we seek. Therefore, trust can be very valuable in social interactions.

Trust has been identified as a key element of successful conflict resolution (including negotiation and mediation). This is not surprising insofar as trust is associated with enhanced cooperation, information sharing, and problem solving.

Origins and Development of Trust

Armed with a definition of trust and a description of the benefits it brings, we now turn to examine its origins and development. Theory on the origins of interpersonal trust has proceeded broadly along three fronts: (1) explaining differences in the individual propensity to trust, (2) understanding dimensions of trustworthy behavior, and (3) suggesting levels of trust development.

Individual propensity to trust

Personality theorists have developed one of the oldest theoretical perspectives on trust, and argued that some people are more likely to trust than others. Viewed as a fairly stable trait over time, trust is regarded as a generalized expectancy that other people can be relied on. This expectancy is a function of the degree to which trust has been honored in that individual’s history of prior social interactions, and may have its most pronounced effect in novel or ambiguous situations. While this expectancy shapes perceptions of the character of people in general, more recent work has identified the characteristics of trustees that allow for the formation of trust and its growth to higher levels.

via Trust and Trust Building | Beyond Intractability.

How the Best Leaders Build Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey @ LeadershipNow


How do the best leaders build trust?

13 Behaviors of High-Trust Leaders Worldwide

About the Author

By Stephen M. R. Covey

Almost everywhere we turn, trust is on the decline. Trust in our culture at large, in our institutions, and in our companies is significantly lower than a generation ago. Research shows that only 49% of employees trust senior management, and only 28% believe CEOs are a credible source of information. Consider the loss of trust and confidence in the financial markets today. Indeed, “trust makes the world go ’round,” and right now we’re experiencing a crisis of trust. This crisis compels us to ask three questions. First, is there a measurable cost to low trust? Second, is there a tangible benefit to high trust? Third, how can the best leaders build trust in and within their organizations to reap the benefits of high trust?

Most people don’t know how to think about the organizational and societal consequences of low trust because they don’t know how to quantify or measure the costs of such a so-called “soft” factor as trust. For many, trust is intangible, ethereal, unquantifiable. If it remains that way, then people don’t know how to get their arms around it or how to improve it. But the fact is, the costs of low trust are very real, they are quantifiable, and they are staggering.

In 2004, one estimate put the cost of complying with federal rules and regulations alone in the United States — put in place essentially due to lack of trust — at $1.1 trillion, which is more than 10% of the gross domestic product. A recent study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimated that the average American company lost 6% of its annual revenue to some sort of fraudulent activity. Research shows similar effects for the other disguised low-trust taxes as well.

Think about it this way: When trust is low, in a company or in a relationship, it places a hidden “tax” on every transaction: every communication, every interaction, every strategy, every decision is taxed, bringing speed down and sending costs up. My experience is that significant distrust doubles the cost of doing business and triples the time it takes to get things done.

By contrast, individuals and organizations that have earned and operate with high trust experience the opposite of a tax — a “dividend” that is like a performance multiplier, enabling them to succeed in their communications, interactions, and decisions, and to move with incredible speed. A recent Watson Wyatt study showed that high trust companies outperform low trust companies by nearly 300%!

I contend that the ability to establish, grow, extend, and (where needed) restore trust among stakeholders is the critical competency of leadership needed today. It is needed more than any other competency. Engendering trust is, in fact, a competency that can be learned, applied, and understood. It is something that you can get good at, something you can measure and improve, something for which you can “move the needle.” You cannot be an effective leader without trust. As Warren Bennis put it, “Leadership without mutual trust is a contradiction in terms.”

via How the Best Leaders Build Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey @ LeadershipNow.

Building Trust Inside Your Team – Management Skills From

Building Trust Inside Your Team

Creating a Strong, Cohesive Group

Build trust between team members.

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.

– Frank Crane, American minister and author

Have you ever managed people who didn’t trust one another? If you have, then you’ll know how challenging and draining this can be.

A team without trust isn’t really a team: it’s just a group of individuals, working together, often making disappointing progress. They may not share information, they might battle over rights and responsibilities, and they may not cooperate with one another. It doesn’t matter how capable or talented your people are, they may never reach their full potential if trust isn’t present.

However, when trust is in place, each individual in the team becomes stronger, because he or she is part of an effective, cohesive group. When people trust one another, the group can achieve truly meaningful goals.

So how can you, as a leader, help your team build the trust that it needs to flourish? In this article we’ll look at the issue of trust within teams, why it’s important, and what you can do to build it.

The Importance of Trust

One definition describes trust as a “reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”

Think about that definition for a moment. Trust means that you rely on someone else to do the right thing. You believe in the person’s integrity and strength, to the extent that you’re able to put yourself on the line, at some risk to yourself.

Trust is essential to an effective team, because it provides a sense of safety. When your team members feel safe with each other, they feel comfortable to open up, take appropriate risks, and expose vulnerabilities.

Without trust there’s less innovation, collaboration, creative thinking, and productivity, and people spend their time protecting themselves and their interests – this is time that should be spent helping the group attain its goals.

Trust is also essential for knowledge sharing. A study published in the “Journal of Knowledge Management” found that trust was a key element in a team’s knowledge acquisition. Put simply, if your team members trust one another, they’re far more likely to share knowledge, and communicate openly.

Strategies for Building Trust

via Building Trust Inside Your Team – Management Skills From

1 2