Tips, Tricks and Trust

In the spirit of the season, I recently started thinking about a question I used to get asked frequently: what are some tricks to becoming more trusted?

Here’s the thing: Trust is a Treat. Not a trick.

Let me elaborate.

When I give seminars or training sessions, I often begin by asking for participants’ expectations. And reliably, at least one of the first few will say, “I’d just like to learn some tips and tricks to become more trusted.”

Tips and tricks to become more trusted.

My first reaction—which I’ve learned to stifle—is to think, “Who do you think you’re kidding! You’re not going to get anyone to trust you with some slick trick!”

Occasionally, if I’m feeling testy, I’ll ask the participant, “Tell me—when was the last time you went to a session like this where you actually got a great “tip” or “trick”—and what was it?” Usually, I get a panicked, blind stare.

But the truth is, who am I to get sarcastic? Because I do the exact same thing myself.  And, some of the most popular posts on this blog have been my  “trust tips” series.

When I listen to others’ DVDs or speeches or articles, I too am looking for that one little “aha!” that will give me some kind of great insight. And if not a great insight, I’ll settle for something that gives me an incremental nudge in the right direction.

Something that’s pretty easy to do.

So, it would seem that my attendees and I are all looking for the same thing. Ideas that are low investment and fast payback. In fact, we value those over high return. Fast, easy, and directionally right beats high ROI – if it requires high I.

But I’m not sure I’ve got it right, and I don’t want to give in too easily to the desire for “fast, easy and directionally right.” Not entirely anyway.

I do believe that becoming trustworthy is at least as much about mindset as it is about skillset. You actually have to change your attitude. You can’t fake it ‘til you make it, or just act your way into good thinking.

But since I’m guilty of the same desire—let me take the cotton out of my ears and put it in my mouth, and listen to you.

What’s the role of tips? What are some great “tips” you have heard? What made them great? And what is the right balance between serving up “tips” and the harder work of becoming trustworthy? Let’s get some dialogue going.

4 replies
  1. Barbara Kimmel
    Barbara Kimmel says:

    Hi Charlie. Your post is very timely. I read this article title just the other day “Ten Magic Phrases You Need to Say Often to Increase Trust” and thought to myself, “Isn’t there a better word choice than “magic” when talking about increasing trust?

    Everyone seems to be looking for a shortcut for everything as our attention span (and reading of books) continues to drop. Sorry, but this doesn’t bode well for building trust. As you know, trust is more about actions than words. I read many of these “magic” suggestions and my reaction is “buyer beware.” Do what you say you are going to do…. always. That’s my tip! And Happy Halloween.

  2. John Rapp
    John Rapp says:

    Charlie, you always (or usually, for sure) ask me: “How can I help?”

    I’ve noticed even some folks who I rarely agree with — but still trust — do the same. I try to do the same.

    Now I must learn better to animate a transition from what clients want — what’s needed eventually — and what they need (but may not want) as we must first build enough trust to justify further “nemawashi” and my growing role as a client factor.


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