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Social Media: The End of Friends? Or the Beginning of Friendship?

Remember all those curmudgeonly quips about how online “friends” were cheapening the real thing? How the Facebook generation was mistaking true friendship for the faux, virtual kind?

Can we finally lay all that to rest?

Who’s Kidding Whom?

People with a thousand LinkedIn connections, 2,000 Facebook friends and 10,000 twitter followers are perfectly aware that what they have is not the same thing as the relationship with their high school buddies.  They don’t even use “relationship” to describe it.

But neither are those connections always number-bling (though yes, some of them are).

Social media hasn’t so much redefined “friend” as it has offered a new channel to find friends.

LinkedIn and Twitter are to friends what Match.com was to dating – a vastly superior mode for doing lead-generation and processing early-stage pleasantries.  Does anyone really think singles bars were a preferable way to find romance?

The online dating services, like online genealogy services, simply made it vastly easier to broaden the range of people from whom one might choose to become better acquainted.

The Social Impact on Business

I find my business life has been remarkably impacted by social media these past few years.  A lot of the people I now call friends – real friends, in the old-fashioned meaning of the word, and rich business acquaintances – I have initially met through social media.

People like @davidabrock, @iannarino, @julien, @chrisbrogan, @johngies, @zerotimeselling (Andy Paul), @jillkonrath, @robincarey, @ianbrodie, and more, I have gotten to know personally – through social media.

Social media are a “starter drug,” if you will; just because you “friend” someone on social media doesn’t mean you’ll end up being real friends.  But increasingly, a lot of real friends start out with the online “friend” channel.

Online “friends” may not be friends, but they can be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

 

 

Killer Apps 2.0: Siri is Just the Teaser

Last summer I wrote about how speech-to-text software may be a killer app. At the time, I mentioned the rumor about what was to become Siri, the “talk to me” assistant in Apple’s then-upcoming iOS5. I also talked about Dragon Naturally Speaking, a PC-based system.

That was then: this is now. Apple itself is actually understating Siri’s capabilities – and Nuance, maker of Dragon Dictation, has made another huge advance for the you-and-me users out there. In this post, I’ll just deal with Siri: look for the Dragon post shortly.

[Note: I could spin this as being about trust, but that’d be a stretch. Sometimes I just get excited about other stuff – like cool work tools. Hope you like it too.]

Siri: Much More than Meets the Ear

You’ve seen the ads for Siri, seen friends demo it, maybe tried it yourself. And it’s impressive. You can tell Siri “Google the planet Pluto,” or “Remind me to pick up toothpaste next time I’m at the drugstore.” (I use this feature quite a bit).

But the truth is much more powerful. Those are parlor tricks, anthropomorphic gimmicks to introduce a new technology to the masses. You, Trust Matters readers, can handle The Truth. So let me tell it to you.

Forget the virtual assistant. Note instead that speech-recognition capability is now built in to the operating system. That means it’s available to you in almost every window, in almost every app on the iPhone.

What Siri Really Means ­– Now

Let me be clear about what that means. Once inside the data-entry part of an app, you can now speak, and your voice will be converted to text.

For example:

Email: speak your emails – they will convert to text

Messaging: speak your text messages – they will convert to text

Evernote: hit your Evernote app button and just start talking

Twitter: speak your tweets, stop finger-pecking them

Facebook: don’t tap your message, just say it

Google+: don’t type it, just speak it

Search: speak your Google or Bing searches – they will convert to text

Maps: speak your destinations – you get the idea.

You can now speak, instead of type, into almost any text-enterable field in any app. That means Notes, Salesforce, Quora, YouTube, NYTimes, Amazon – you name it.

  • Hate having to type on that little screen? That excuse is no longer valid.
  • Wish you had a dictation service? You do now.
  • Still taking notes by hand until you get home to enter them? Puh-leeze.

The 30,000 Foot View

This technology is not perfect; but it’s even better than the old Dragon app for the iPhone that I wrote about just six months ago, and it’s bound to get better.

As with all technologies, it will be more useful for some things than for others. I find it especially useful in dictating text messages, taking long notes of phone calls or meetings, and dictating thoughts about future articles or blog-posts.

Remember the core value proposition of voice-to-text: We can talk 5x as fast as we can write; and we can read 3x faster than we can listen. That’s a 15x systemic advantage for communications efficiency. When was the last time we saw a technology that improved communications efficiency by 1500%?

Siri is to voice-to-text as a camel’s nose in the tent is to the camel. This will be one very, very big ride.

Next post: voice to text on your Mac or PC desktop as a one-stroke utility – it’s here now.

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Many Trusted Advisor programs now offer CPE credits.  Please call Tracey DelCamp for more information at 856-981-5268–or drop us a note @ info@trustedadvisor.com.

Win a Free Copy of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook

Over the past few months we’ve counted down 144 daily #TrustTips on Twitter.  Each tip aimed to help you improve your trustworthiness and trusted relationships within your professional and personal lives.  We collected them all here.

Now that our new book, “The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook,” nears its release date, we are looking to hear from you, oh avid readers, which tips you felt were the most useful, profound or just plain interesting.

You Be the Judge

We listed a few of our favorites – now it’s your turn. We’d like to share, right here on Trust Matters, a few of yours.

So go ahead and tell us which #TrustTip was your favorite and why (no more than a few sentences). We’ll enter each submission into a drawing to win a copy of the new book autographed by both of us, as well as the opportunity to be singled out on our site (eternal fame, in other words).

Enter Now! Just go ahead and list your favorite #TrustTip in the comment section below or, email us at: kabele@trustedadvisor.com.  Once again, here’s the full list of #TrustTips.

We can’t wait to hear which tips you choose!

Trust Tips: Moving Right Along

We’re getting close.

The Trust Tips countdown continues to the release of “The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust,” by myself and Andrea P. Howe, to published by Wiley Books in early November.  We issue one Trust Tip per weekday; there are eleven more to come. They’re simple tips you can use every day to overcome the obstacles to having strong trust relationships. impede the trust-building process.

Get the tips straight from the source by following us directly on Twitter (@CharlesHGreen and @AndreaPHowe); you can also find them by using the hash-tag #TrustTip. We’d really enjoy hearing from you; the conversations have become a highlight of my day.

We’re also into making life easier for you, so we also keep a running tab of the tips right here on our site. If you need to catch up, see the recaps below:

#144-135

#134-115

#114-105

#104-90

#89-81

#80-71

#71-56

And now, skipping on down, here is the latest batch of Trust Tips: Numbers #30-12

#30: If the gods offer you a choice between competence and good relationships, assume it was probably a friendly gesture. Choose…

#29: The ultimate net promoter score driver: trust.

#28: If your competitor has a trusted relationship with a target client: go find a new target client.

#27: A short time-frame is one of the natural enemies of trust.

#26: If you don’t trust me, the odds of me trusting you just went down.

#25: Being brutally honest: what brutes do when they try to tell the truth.

#24: You can’t make somebody trust you; but you can make yourself more trustworthy.

#23: Only on TV quiz shows do you win by blurting out the answer before listening fully.

#22: Robinson Crusoe had no need for trust–at least not before Friday.

#21: Defining the problem is not worth very much unless the other party agrees with your definition.

#20: I trust my dog with my life–but not with my sandwich.

#19: Intent without action seems insincere: action without intent feels mechanical.

#18: Mind readers exist only in carnivals; in business, tell people what you mean.

#17: You get the right answer = you’re lucky. I get it = I’m smart. You agree with me = you’re wise.

#16: The sun is predictable; a man is reliable. Which are you?

#15: Doing the right thing is long-run profitable; but the profit is a byproduct, not a goal.

#14: All trust is personal; corporate trust is just accumulated interactions.

#13: Increased business trust reduces demand for lawyers and regulators.

#12 If someone trusts you, do you screw them? Why should you expect them to be any different?

A couple of my favorites:

#24: You can’t make somebody trust you; but you can make yourself more trustworthy.

This gets to the heart of the matter. In this world, you can never truly control another human being; trying to do so is the root of much misery. The only thing you can control in this world is your own actions—and your re-actions to others’ actions. You can spend hours trying to persuade someone to trust you, and all you’ll get is red in the face and high blood pressure.

Don’t tell someone you’re trustworthy—just act the part, and let them draw their own conclusions. And by the way, those conclusions are theirs too—leave them alone.

#17: You get the right answer = you’re lucky. I get it = I’m smart. You agree with me = you’re wise.

This is like ‘a recession is when your neighbor is laid off; a depression is when you are let go.’ Noticing things from the other’s perspective is never easy; worse, we tend toward assumptions that are self-serving (“I hardly ever have bad intentions. You, however, are frequently mean, clearly have it in for me, and probably always have.”)

But it’s possible to transcend this self-serving self-centeredness.  When we recognize someone in the way that they see themselves, and freely acknowledge it, we get a double success.  First, they appreciate the compliment (if compliments were involved—they don’t have to be).  But much more importantly, they appreciate the notice itself—it is validating.  We get credit for being wise just by understanding the Other from their perspective–and saying so.

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Twitter Debate: She Said, He Said

My co-author Andrea Howe (@andreaphowe) and I (@charleshgreen) are both on Twitter.  We have rather different ideas about it, however. We talked about our differing perspectives the other day, and decided to share our thoughts. What’s your view?

May I Have Your Attention Please

Andrea: I have a lot of mixed feelings about Twitter. In a world marked these days by a lot of distractions, Twitter is a big one—one more thing that helps shorten my attention span. This troubles me because being focused, present, paying attention—not being distracted—are the thrust of what you and I both teach and talk about.

Charlie: Well, if you’re going to tend bar, you’d better make sure your drinking problem is under control. Twitter is indeed mostly about short attention span. Then again, so are racquetball and improv comedy. Each of them is about impressions, reacting in the moment.

Twitter is where you come to scan, not to find soul mates. There is a time and a place for everything.

Andrea: You know I don’t visit bars much. I do have a soft spot for improv comedy, though. Good point.

Popularity Contest or Personal Growth?

Andrea: As much as I like to think of myself as a somewhat-enlightened grown up, I just can’t seem to avoid the negative emotional component of the Twittersphere. Twitter takes me back to junior high school popularity contests. Sometimes I feel great, like “I’m popular, wow.” Other times, it’s depressing as hell—“Why’d I lose 5 followers today? What did I do wrong?” (laughing).

Charlie: You can take the kid out of the junior high school; the important thing is to take the junior high school out of the kid. I actually see Twitter as a personal growth tool. It forces you to recognize that not every 140-second ADD burst from a stranger is an attack upon your being. It really doesn’t mean much at all.

Andrea: You know I’m a sucker for personal growth. I’m just not sure Twitter is where I want to work this stuff out.

The Downside of Early Adoption

Andrea: As long as I’m listing my complaints, let me add this one: Doing it well requires way too many steps. There’s using different client software programs, mastering Twitter etiquette, making the effort to acknowledge followers appropriately. It can take a lot of steps to create a good Tweet. So much for scanning and reacting in the moment. I’d rather let the process work itself out. Call me (Tweet me?) when the tools are better. I’m not an early adopter; I’m here purely under protest.

Charlie: On this we can agree. Twitter is still immature, and while it is changing—every month something gets easier—it’s still too cumbersome. I want more integration, more platforms, more easily available stats, and so forth.

You don’t want to be an early adopter? I don’t blame you a bit. I am an early adopter myself, but you do a pay a price for the privilege.

Authentically Pre-Scheduled

Andrea: Let’s talk about scheduling tweets. It smacks of being strategic rather than authentic; it doesn’t feel real. If this is such a conversational tool, then why pretend otherwise by pre-writing and then auto-delivering?

Charlie: I think you’re confusing “authentic” with “real-time.” Chat rooms and IRC have been around for decades. Authentic to me means real, not necessarily ‘right now.’ I have no desire to hang around for an hour watching the feed until someone looks me up and replies. I’ve got better things to do.

Also, not everybody reads when I want to write—that’s the great thing about time-shifting technologies. By spreading tweets around, I get to more people, and more people get to me.

Andrea: Hmmm. Interesting point about “authentic” versus “real-time.” I’m going to have to think about that one.

The Big Cocktail Party

Andrea: Maybe what irks me most is that the nature of Twitter tends toward  superficial interactions. While there is some substantive stuff getting exchanged out there, a lot of Twitter seems more like idle party chit chat than real connection. And I have never been a big fan of cocktail parties.

Charlie: Remember that song, “Lookin’ for Love in All the Wrong Places?” Of course Twitter is chit chat, of course it’s a big cocktail party. Why do you think they call it Twitter?

Seriously, there’s a place for shallow, and a place for deep. Twitter is shallow; blogs are deeper. Articles are deeper yet. Or books—books are real deep.

But if you want to do a surface scan on what tons of people are thinking or saying about a particular topic—hey, God bless Twitter. And compared to real cocktail parties, at least you don’t have to drink or worry about how you look.

Hello, World

Andrea: Despite all my complaints, I do tweet. And I do see one very powerful thing about Twitter: it connects people who otherwise might not be connected. It lets people share perspectives and interesting pieces of information. Link-shortening is a blessing.

Charlie: Amen to that. Twitter is the new blog comments. Twitter is the new RSS feed (though we both use Feedly and I use AllTop to source some material). It is a whole ‘nother level of content-sharing between article/blog headlines and the articles themselves—and it lets you express your own views along the way.

Twitter lets me efficiently state to the world who I am, by way of sharing what I read and my take on it. You could call that branding.

Also, contrary to all the cocktail party metaphors, I’ve met some really cool people through Twitter–and then I’ve gotten more acquainted with many of them through email, by phone, and in-person. It is a fine way to meet interesting folks relevant to one’s business.

Parlez-vous?

Andrea: One last thing. I wish I didn’t have to invest the time to learn a whole new language with Twitter: “RT,” “TY,” the myriad other abbreviations, and the effort it takes to say something sensible in 140 characters. We humans can barely communicate well in our native tongue. Isn’t our time better spent trying to master our own language?

Charlie: That’s what I keep saying to the French when I visit Paris! But I haven’t been able to convince them yet to speak English.

Andrea: Tell me you did not just try to compare Twitter to Paris.

What’s your perspective? Join the conversation. Post a comment to this blog. Tweet about it. Email us. Or—gasp—give us a call.

Getting Up Close & Personal with Trust Tips

We’re about halfway through our countdown of Trust Tips leading up to the release of  “The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust,” a new book written by the two of us—Charles H. Green  and Andrea P. Howe—to be published by Wiley Books, on October 31, 2011.

We try to keep our tips applicable to nearly every workday. That way you can apply them now and see positive results quickly.

You can get the Trust tips delivered straight to your Twitter feed by following us directly (@CharlesHGreen and @AndreaPHowe) or by searching with the hashtag #TrustTip.  I’ve really been enjoying the thought-provoking discussions we’ve been having and I would encourage you to join us.

But as Twitter isn’t for everyone and as we don’t want to leave anyone out in the cold we also keep a running list of the tips here on the site—see below:

If you need to catch up, see our recaps of Tips:

Below are the most recent, Tips #80-75

#80: Two sure trust-killers: a tendency to blame, and an inability to confront

#79: Name one trigger or fault you have; decide how to coopt it

#78: Don’t interrupt. If you do, apologize. Even if you’re a New Yorker.

#77: Did you just name-drop? Why? Who did it help? Check your motives

#76: Call your client once in awhile just to find out how he/she is

#75: Reduce your APM count (acronyms per minute)

#74: If you can’t present it without PowerPoint, go work on your presentation skills

#73: Spend time in your client’s shoes–imagine what it’s like to be him/her; role play with a colleague

#72: Cultivate an attitude of curiosity–think in advance about what questions you want to ask

#71: Try doing your thinking out loud; with your client. Don’t hide it away.

A Couple of Our Favorites

#72: Cultivate an attitude of curiosity–think in advance about what questions you want to ask.

In much of our professional life, our dominant attitude is one of self-focus.  We may be worried, or excited, or intent—but in all such cases, we are self-absorbed.  But the key to success in much of our professional life is to be outward-facing, customer-focused, other-oriented. Fine, you say—but how do you do that?

One way to do it is to cultivate an attitude of curiosity. You can cultivate it by intentionally setting aside time to wonder—wonder why this situation is so, and why things work that way, and where this other thing first came from.  Wondering can lead to questions, and once you have questions, you have a great basis for an other-oriented conversation.

You can make curiosity a habit that way; a habit that results in an attitude. And an attitude results in behaviors that are client-focused.  Your clients will notice.

#80: Two sure trust-killers: a tendency to blame, and an inability to confront

Phil McGee coined this one, and we love it.  Blame—the tendency to deflect bad news onto others, while disproportionately taking credit ourselves.  Blame violates several principles—it is greedy and self-oriented, but it is also deceitful, since it incorrectly assigns responsibility.

The flip side is an inability to confront.  If you can’t constructively confront issues, you can’t speak the truth.  And if you can’t speak the truth, you can’t be trusted.  Note that you don’t have to be brutal to be a truth-teller, that’s not much better than sugar-coating.  But with good intent and careful communication, you can nearly always speak to any issue truthfully.

If you can do that, you can be transparent, open, and have direct and powerful conversations with everyone.  And if you can constructively confront, by the way, there is no longer much reason to blame.

 

Trust Tips: A Deeper Look

The countdown continues until “The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust,” (from Wiley Books) hits shelves everywhere. As we eagerly await publication, my co-author, Andrea Howe, and I are posting a series of daily Trust Tips.

These brief yet insightful tips can be found on Twitter by using the hashtag #TrustTip. Or,if you prefer, you can go straight to the source by finding us on Twitter at @AndreaPHowe and @CharlesHGreen.

Not keen to leave those of you out who haven’t jumped onto the Twitter bandwagon, we keep a running tally of all the Trust Tips right here on our site.

We do recommend you take a second, or third, look at Twitter though. We’ve been having some great discussions over there about the tips and more. We’d love for you to chime in.

The Tips

The tips are published every workday as a means to give you a quick method to heighten your trustworthiness and build stronger work relationships.

If you need to catch up, see our recaps of Tips #144-135; #134-115; and #114-105.

Trust Tips #104-90

#104: “Trust but verify.” = blowing smoke. If you have to verify, it’s not trust.

#103: Acknowledge uncomfortable situations: try “I’m probably the only one wondering this, but…” You won’t be.

#102: Name and Claim the Elephant in the Room. Candor drives trust; it’s controlled risk taking.

#101: Don’t gossip or promote relationship “triangles.”

#100: Think it through: how will your client react to what you’re thinking of saying?

#99: Don’t think “I can’t trust yet, it’s too risky;” risk is what creates trust. Take the first risk.

#98: Possibly the best sales/client/relationship question is: Tell me more–please.

#97: Be the same person to all people at all times. That’s a good definition of integrity.

#96: Practice asking difficult questions or making difficult statements before you deliver them

#95: By being willing to have a Point of View, you help everyone else crystallize theirs

#94: Hold others accountable; letting others off the hook lets them live down to your expectations

#93: Write your next proposal with your client; sitting next to them; on the same side of the table

#92: Talk more with your eyes, ears & body, and less with your mouth

#91: Be empathetic: the benefit-to-cost ratio of empathy is nearly infinite.

#90: Next time something great happens, pin the credit on someone.

A Couple of My Favorites:

#93: The normal routine for writing proposals just reinforces the separation between ourselves and our clients (or customers, or partners). We say, “good meeting, I’ll get back to you with a . PDF document by Friday, and ship you hard copy as well.”

Instead, try saying, “Let’s book the conference room again this Friday, and write this proposal together, sitting on the same side of the table. We’ll each bring all our questions and data and we’ll make sure we come up between us with the best possible approached. Of course it’s still a proposal, I know we may not win–but it will be the best possible proposal the two of us can possibly produce.”
#90: We’re pretty good at pinning the blame on others. And we’re often quick to take credit. Taking responsibility is a good antidote to blaming, and ‘pinning the credit’ is the cure for hogging it all to ourselves.

Next time something good happens and you start maneuvering to look like it was your doing, stop–and pin the credit on someone else. They’ll appreciate it, and it’s a good way to practice lowering your self-orientation.

A #TrustTip Highlight Reel

We’re counting down the days until “The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust,” a new book written by myself and Andrea Howe (to be published by Wiley Books, hitting the shelves on October 31) by lighting up the twittersphere with a series of daily Trust Tips.

You can find these snippets of insight on Twitter by using the hashtag (or pound sign) followed by TrustTip, like this: #TrustTip. Or, if you prefer, you can go straight to the source by finding us on Twitter at @AndreaPHowe and @CharlesHGreen.

We’ve had some good discussions on Twitter and would love for you to put your two cents in.

For those of you still averse to Twitter, we keep a running tab of all the Trust Tips right here on our site.

The Tips

The Tips are concise. They’re published every work day, helping to increase your trustworthiness and build better work relationships.

If you need to catch up, see our recaps of Tips #144-135 and #134-115. Below are #114-105.

Trust Tips Redux: #114–105

#114: Do you know your main customer’s kids’ names? Should you?

#113: Be relentlessly discreet; honor confidentiality

#112: An expectation is a premeditated resentment; stay curious and bemused

#111: Sign up for a Google alert on yourself and your firm: See yourself the way others see you

#110: Send a hand-written note of acknowledgment/thanks

#109: In conversation with your client, occasionally wait half a second longer before talking

#108: Offer to take notes in a meeting

#107: Tell your client something you appreciate about him/her

#106: The great thing about always telling the truth is you have only one version to remember

#105: The easiest, safest and most durable way to make others trust you is to actually be trustworthy–worthy of their trust

A Couple of My Favorites:

#112: An expectation is a premeditated resentment; stay curious and bemused

We all have ideas about what’s going to happen in the future; we couldn’t function without them. But when those ideas turn into expectations to which we become attached–when we start rooting for an outcome, twisting the evidence to support or even encourage a particular result–we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Just down the street from disappointment lives resentment; and resentment poisons everything.
Be light on your feet. If the home team loses, hey, it happens. If the sale didn’t come through, don’t let it ruin your sleep. If you didn’t get what you wanted, be grateful for what you got. Learn for the future, but don’t let the learning ruin today.

#109: In conversation with your client, occasionally wait half a second longer before talking

Sometimes we can be too eager to answer a question or solve a problem. Next time, don’t you be the one to fill that silent hole in space. If what you say sounds too rehearsed, even if it isn’t, trust begins to erode. Pausing, even for just a moment, can make a noticeable difference. Indicate that you’d like the other person to speak next. Not only will you seem more thoughtful, but you will be more so. And you’ll hear stuff.

Which tips did you find most meaningful?

We’ll be publishing more Trust Tips next week and every week to book publication. Share the wealth; tell others about #TrustTip—new tips posted every weekday at 8:30AM.

Counting Down the #TrustTips: Daily Tweets on Trust

In celebration of the “The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust” a new book written by myself and Andrea Howe in partnership with Wiley Books, we’ve been tweeting a series of Daily Trust Tips.

Andrea and I tweet one #TrustTip per business day, counting down until publication day, October 31. You can access these daily trust tips on Twitter, by using the hashtag (or pound sign) followed by TrustTip. Like this: #TrustTip. You can find us on Twitter at @AndreaPHowe and @CharlesHGreen.

The Tips

We try to stay away from platitudes. They’re meant to be precise and provocative, things you can apply today to enhance your trustworthiness and build stronger, more trusting relationships.

And if that still isn’t enough to motivate you to get on Twitter, we keep a running list of all the #TrustTips right here on our site.

The past two weeks of tips have sparked a good deal of talk on Twitter. Below is the recap of Tips #134-115. You can find the recap of #144-135 here.

Trust Tips Recap: #134– #115

#134: The purchasing agent is your new client. Treat them so. Their needs go beyond beating you up.

#133: If you feel odd about something: notice it. Say it out loud. Talk about it. Trust your gut.

#132: Don’t say what you’ll do, do it. Doing is the best talking. Sell by doing, not by talking.

#131: When you don’t know the answer: say, “I don’t know the answer.” What a concept.

#130: Don’t lie. Don’t fake it. Don’t justify it. Don’t leave things out. Don’t mislead. Don’t lie. Don’t.

#129: Easy way to increase reliability: say you’ll do something—then do it. On time.

#128: Under-promised and over-delivered means you’re lying. Better to do exactly what you said you’d do.

#127: Over a drink, ask your client what (s)he thinks their boss most wants from them.

#126: Dress code: one tiny notch higher than your client—no less, but no more either.

#125: Subscribe to your 2nd biggest customer’s 2nd most important industry trade publication.

#124: Adopt the safest cultural time standard: if you’re on-time, you’re late.

#123: Return calls unbelievably fast. You can wait to get the fix, but return the call unbelievably fast.

#122: Make lots of small promises & consistently follow through.

#121: Announce changes immediately & acknowledge the impact—especially when you won’t deliver as promised.

#120: Don’t just not lie; tell as much truth as possible, except where hurtful to others.

#119: Use pre-meetings; the final meeting should be ceremonial, no surprises.

#118: Identify some of your customers’ unique terminology; if it fits, use it yourself.

#117: Five credentials after your name on the business card is three too many.

#116: Give your meetings goals—not just agendas.

#115: In a meeting, notice who looks like they want to say something. Ask them to do so.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

# 129, Easy way to increase reliability: say you’ll do something—then do it. On time.

How many times have we been reliant on someone to get their job done in order for us to complete ours? It starts in middle school—from home-made science projects—and carries through to our professional lives. Efficient teamwork is part of every successful business. That teamwork extends outside of your office and into your client’s. Your client’s ability to rely on you to get the job done when you say you will makes for a smooth relationship, where no matter what, they feel they can trust you. Reliability is one of the four key factors in the Trust Equation, and one of the key factors we reference in any recommendation.

#116, Give your meetings goals—not just agendas.

Meetings seem to be a way of life when it comes to maintaining a steady business. It’s a practice that we all acknowledge for its necessity but in a way, seem to dread. Why is that? Many times meetings abide by a checklist of items to be discussed but after just thirty minutes minute details start taking over and the overall goals are lost. Creating goals as well as agendas for your meetings allows for the bigger picture to be maintained. It’s important to ensure everyone feels that they aren’t losing valuable time doing something else while they are listening to you veer off course.

#131, When you don’t know the answer: say, “I don’t know the answer.” What a concept.

It is amazing how simple this concept is–yet how few people subscribe to it. One of the quickest ways to reduce your customer’s trust in you is to answer their question incorrectly or to dodge it entirely. The reverse is ironically true as well: if you truthfully answer a question—especially if the answer is, “I don’t know”—they will trust you in that moment, and from then on as well.

Which ones did you find most meaningful?

We’ll be publishing more #TrustTip next week and every week to book publication. Share the wealth; tell others about #TrustTip—new tips posted every weekday at 8:30AM.

 

144 Tips on Trust: The Great # Countdown

Last week we announced “The Trusted Advisor FieldBook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust,” a new book written by myself and Andrea Howe in partnership with Wiley Books.

As part of the build-up to the book, we started a series of Daily Trust Tips, one per business day, counting down until publication day, October 31. You can access these daily trust tips on Twitter, by using the hashtag (or pound sign) followed by TrustTip. Like this: #TrustTip


Andrea Howe and I alternately publish the tip du jour every weekday at 8:30AM EST; then whichever isn’t tweeting will re-tweet within the hour. You find us on Twitter at @AndreaPHowe and @CharlesH.Green. Or, you can simply do a twitter search on #TrustTip. That way you can easily spot the whole series at any time.

The Tips

We try to stay away from platitudes. They’re meant to be precise and provocative, things you can apply today to enhance your trustworthiness and build stronger, more trusting relationships.

And if that still isn’t enough to motivate you to get on twitter, then every two weeks or so we’ll publish the most recent TrustTips here on this blog. Here they are, plus a few bonus thoughts.

Trust Tips Redux: #144 – #135

#144 Find out what your client’s customers like best about your client.

#143 Subscribe to 7 Google Alerts: some about your customers, some about their industry.

#142 Develop 5 great customer questions: Ask a partner to pick the top 3 from your list. Use them.

#141 When you present, practice in front of the mirror 4 times. Seriously! 4 times! You’ll get more relaxed.

#140 How much personal time: Hours, $: will you invest this year in you?

#139 Find out where you best customer went to high school. Don’t flaunt it; just learn it.

#138 Host an event that brings key stakeholders together; you be the moderator.

#137 When the customer asks you the price, tell them. Straight away. No hem, haw, wait. Answer the question.

#136 When you tell a story: refer to 3 of the 5 senses in telling it. It’ll make it more memorable.

#135 Don’t walk in without a point-of-view. It doesn’t have to be right; it does have to be thoughtful.

Here’s a couple of my favorites:

# 140, for example. Part of Google’s success clearly lies in happy, engaged employees. If you don’t work for Google, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little google for yourself. Reinvesting in yourself gives you a break from the daily grind. Feeling comfortable with your position, your team, and your bosses allows you to be more relaxed when faced with difficult situations. When your job is more than where you punch in and punch out, you can be there for your customers. Customers will then look to you as someone who has their best interests in mind—and begin to believe that you might actually care about their goals.

# 137. Almost all price problems are of our own creation. Every reason we concoct for being reticent—don’t quote price until they’ve heard value, etc.—just resonates with the client as obfuscation and avoidance. What’s he hiding? Why can’t he answer a direct question? Any financial planner will tell you, clients find it easier to talk about their sex lives than to talk about money; and any salesperson who appears hesitant is immediately causing suspicion. It’s so easy: just answer the question, and if they don’t ask it, put it out there. It’s a relevant fact; and oddly enough, you get credit for being forthright in mentioning it, simply because no one else will!

Which ones did you find most meaningful?

We’ll be publishing more #TrustTip next week and every week to book publication. Share the wealth; tell others about #TrustTip—new tips posted every weekday at 8:30AM.