A New York Times/CBS News poll from July 1999 revealed that 63% of people interviewed believe that in dealing with “most people” you “can’t be too careful” and 37% believed that “most people would try to take advantage of you if they got the chance”. If you assume that this is representative of the people you wish to influence, your first job is to let people see that you can be trusted. How? The same study gives us a hint. Respondents also revealed that of the people that they “know personally,” they would expect 85% of them to “try to be fair.” Hmmmmm. Could it be that simple? Let people see who you are, help them to feel like they know you personally, and your trust ratio automatically triples? Think about our language: “he’s okay, I know him” or “it’s not that I don’t trust her, I just don’t know her.”1
Our blogs regularly mention the issues of trust and relationships and their importance in the workplace (examples are here and here). The quote above reflects the importance of relationships and why people who are connectors and hubs in social networks are more effective: they have more relationships and more people ‘trust’ them.
1. Annette Simmons, The Story Factor, Basic Books 2006, page 7.
About Mark Schenk
Mark works globally with senior leadership teams to improve their ability to communicate clearly and memorably. He has been a Director of Anecdote since 2004 and helped the company grow into one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultancies. Connect with Mark on:
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