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5 Things You Can Do To Build Trust Quickly

5 Things You Can Do To Build Trust Quickly

I was selling products all day and was finishing up talking to this customer when he paused, looked straight into my eyes, and said, ‘A good man you are, there’s only a couple of us left.’ Then he walked away with his wife.

I immediately thought to myself how strange it was to hear a customer speak from the heart to a sales person. A flood of memories from all the different times I had built trust with people, very quickly after meeting them, came to mind. This experience triggered me to clearly see the patterns of trust building that I’ve used throughout my life.

Based on my intuitive insight, and following up with some psychology research, I want to give you 5 things that you can do to build trust quickly.

1. Show your authentic smile

Research shows that genuine smiles, the kind of smiles that engage the muscles around the eyes, are indicators of trustworthiness.

The reason I call it your authentic smile is because it has to come from the emotional capacity within you. Every time that I’ve been able to build trust quickly, I’ve exhibited high amounts of positive emotion that naturally produces a smile on my face.

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What I’ve caught myself doing that I find to be effective, which you can do too, is that I prime my emotions. This means that I consciously regulate my emotions before or after an event. I think through how I feel and I try to focus on something that I can approach with a positive disposition.

For example, I might think to myself that I get to meet lots of interesting customers and I get to connect with them. This thought allows me to focus on connecting with other people, and instead of focusing on myself, I now have built an emotional capacity to connect with others. This enables me to experience more positive emotion, leading to me showing my authentic smile, and people trusting my face.

I know that people who are higher in extraversion and lower in neuroticism may find this easier, but we can all learn to built trust and deliver an authentic smile.

2. Mirror the other person’s communication style

Mirroring other people is a powerful way to build trust that is often under exercised or misused. In basic terms, mirroring is matching your actions with the actions of the person you want to build trust with. For example, if someone is speaking very slowly and softly, if you want to build rapport, it’s best that you speak slowly and softly back. Speaking really loudly and obnoxiously is going to make them feel uncomfortable. An easy rule of thumb I use is to simply match the energy of the person you are talking with.

Mirroring doesn’t just have to do with talking. You can mirror other people by your body posture, hand gestures, blurting out random sounds that people make, and a whole host of mirroring actions.

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Mirroring makes other people feel comfortable because you are communicating like they do. It makes people feel like they can relate to you, that you’re safe to be around, and that they can trust you.

Where people get mirroring wrong is when they try too hard to mirror somebody else. They go too overboard because they haven’t developed a way to naturally mirror other people. This is because they haven’t yet developed parts of their personality that enable them to deal with a large spectrum of communication styles.

For example, I personally am equally comfortable having a long, softly spoken, deeper conversation as I am a loud, quick-paced conversation where everyone is talking over the top of each other. Having a full range of experience has increased my capacity to mirror and connect with people.

Remember, authentic mirroring is less about trying to act like some else to manipulate them, and more about making people feel comfortable by communicating on their level.

3. Pay close attention to the person in front of you

Paying close attention doesn’t just mean you are pretending to look at their face, it means you are looking at them speak and are actively engaged emotionally.

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Empathetically show that you understand by looking into their eyes and slightly nod or softly respond with short verbal indications of your understanding of what they are saying. You don’t want to stare them down, but using an honest measure of eye contact shows you are actively paying attention and that you care about them.

When people know that you understand who they are, and their situation, they trust you. When they can feel that you are feeling what they are going through, they trust you. Paying close attention to a person will make them feel this way.

4. Be prepared to show vulnerability

In my opinion, the reason why people like Batman more than Superman is because Superman seems almost too unrealistic. He doesn’t seem vulnerable enough for us to be emotionally invested.

If you are open and honest with how you speak to people you’ll show strength, but you’ll also show vulnerability. Showing vulnerability doesn’t mean pointing out all your weaknesses, it means being real and allowing people to emotionally identify with you.

People trust vulnerability because it’s believable and it shows that you are willing to put yourself out there. You have some skin in the game so people trust that you are invested in what you are saying.

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5. Demonstrate that you do what you say

People looking for quick fixes to building trust have to realize that they actually have to be trustworthy. You can’t just smile and do all the rapport building tricks but then outright do something completely different to what you said you’d do.

If you can demonstrate that you do what you say you do in the beginning moments of meeting someone, then people are likely to trust in you based on what they observe.

All you need to do is keep being consistent in doing what you say and people will be able to trust you in that area.

Conclusion:

You can build trust with people very quickly if you are being truly authentic about connecting with them.

Featured photo credit: https://www.graphicstock.com via graphicstock.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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