Tips, Tricks and Trust

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

Tips and tricks to become more trusted.

Of course, 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 the most popular posts on this blog have been my Wednesday "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 ROI, if it requires high I.

But I’m not sure I’ve got it right, and I don’t want to give in 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.

0 replies
  1. Barbara Garabedian
    Barbara Garabedian says:

    Charlie: I agree with Carolyn Manning, one can only offer some tips to help others avoid the pitfalls, landmines and mistakes. If the recipient/audience/"tipee" doesn’t buy-into the value of the experience (especially if more negative than positive), and the experienced "tipper" providing the "tip"…then there’s no way a tip {of any kind} can add any value.

    When I attend, listen or watch others, I’m not looking for the silver bullet or the answer to "why the sky is blue" – I’m tuned in hoping to walk away with one little anecdote/nugget of someone else’s experience that hopefully when I encounter something similar – will help to keep me out of the "sheepdip". Those are the "tips" I find most valuable. 

  2. Carolyn Manning
    Carolyn Manning says:

    There are no tips to help someone ‘become more trusted’.  Maybe, though, when people are using apparently untrustworthy tactics, a couple of tips will work to help set things right.  As I see it, the purpose of giving tips is to help others avoid mistakes. 

  3. peter vajda
    peter vajda says:

    There are three principles (tips? hmmm) which, first support me, and then in my work with others, support these others, to engender trust. 

    First, "honesty – early and often," first with one’s self and then with others; two, "honesty, sincerity and self-responsibility," in how one lives one’s life at work, at home and at play… again, first, with and towards one’s self and then, with others; and third, "aligning one’s inner behavior with one’s outer behavior".

    These three principles foster transparency, telling the truth, and owning one’s behaviors…for me, all basic foundations of building and maintain trust in relationships. The caveat is that when one is lying to one’s self, building trust with others is well-nigh impossible. This is why these three principles are a "practice" which one must consciously and consistently follow every day.  

    These three practices over the years have helped me greatly to show up in integrity and authentically in my life, and with others. I find that I am mush less suspicious, doubting or judgmental of others, have less fear around others and am less prooccupied about others’ motives,  and trust others more…as I have become more honest with, and trusting of, my self…my true and real self…not my ego self.

    Tips are just words. Integrating the tips into one’s life is the key. Practice, practice, practice..consciously. Simple, but not easy. Trust is first and foremost is always about the relationship between "me and me", not between you and you.

  4. Ian Welsh
    Ian Welsh says:

    The problem is often not intent, it is thoughtlessness. It is easy to do something inconsiderate or untrustworthy simply because we don’t take the time to think through how we should act in a situation.  Good behaviour is often called "thoughtful" because it requires us to spend some time thinking about what we should do to be considerate to a specific person.

    Trust tips help us with that thinking.  They’re a "ah, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but that is what you should do to be trustworthy".  Needing them doesn’t indicate someone is inherently un-trustworthy, it indicates someone who doesn’t always have the time to think everything through carefully before acting.

    In addition we all have ways of acting we picked up through our life, and especially in childhood, which are instinctive and often selfish and counterproductive.  When we think about them, we realize they’re not good, but we often don’t have, or take the time to think about them.

    Changing behaviour, even with the best will in the world, takes time, because so much of what we do, we do as a matter of habit, not thought.

  5. Maureen Rogers
    Maureen Rogers says:

    One trust tip I know of is to keep in mind that nobody, but nobody, likes to be blindsided – not your customers, not your boss, not their boss, not people in your group. People are more apt to trust you if you’ve giving them a head’s up on bad news. Of course, you need to be wary of overcommunicating (or prematurely communicating) everything you know, and you have to be careful not to pass on information that’s really not yours to pass on.

    (But the best tip I ever got at a seminar was 20 years ago at a presentation skills class. The tip: rehearse your presentation out loud in front of the mirror the night before. Out loud’s the key: it really forces you to work through every point you’re going to make.)



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