It was 18 months ago when I stepped into a large cold conference room with seven executives and a good friend of mine who was in a tough negotiation. Imagine a long dark wood table stretched from one end of the room to the other. Us on one end and them on the other. Not the best way to start a meeting.
Surprisingly the first part of the meeting went well. They were in impressed with what he could do. The solution we demonstrated showed the immediate results for them but there was still a hesitation. It wasn't that my friend could deliver, it wasn't the price or the package. It was him.
Prior to this meeting I didn't appreciate the level of interaction and engagement him and the company had before I arrived that Tuesday morning. We immediately knew this was a trust issue and he had failed to build enough of it. Respectfully he honed up and we started the process together to reengage and look for specific 'trust criteria'* for moving forward.
My friend walked away disappointed but I quickly pointed out that his openness and honesty to take responsibility and own the relationship was the start of being able to amplify trust.
Here's what I've learnt from that experience and many others.
Someones confidence in you is a measure of the evidence of what you can do (your ability, competence, skill and aptitude). Trust is something much deeper and in many ways more powerful. Trust is about who you are to others (your authenticity, consistency, reliability and honesty).
- Confidence that you can
- Trust that you will and are someone who does (X)
You need both in business to really see accelerated results in your relationships. If you had to work on one of these areas this week let it be trust. Let me offer some clarifying examples around confidence and trust that I know will help unpack this.
Example of High Trust and Low Confidence: If you know a friend sucks at plumbing and says he'll help fix your sink your confidence will be pretty low about his ability, but if you have high trust you'll know he wont do anything dumb. You may not say yes but his offer doesn't impact the trust you have in him as a friend. You simply make a different choice based on his competence or trust his judgement to make decisions because of who he is.
Example of High Confidence Low Trust: Lets just say you have a friend who is consistently late (which I do) but great at a skill you don't have. The only thing is, that friend has the brand as the 'late guy'. You know he eventually shows up with what he needs to do but you have low trust he'll show up on time because of who he's shown himself to be in those moments (unreliable). Although you have high confidence in his ability you may not invite that person to do something really important for you again even if he is the best qualified to do it.
Here's where it gets interesting. In many cases we will make exceptions for low confidence where it's competence based as long as there is high trust. The result of low trust has a much wider impact on the relationship even when confidence is high. In the example of being late other areas of trust and confidence can be eroded. For example. In many examples consistent lateness can lead a client to make a competence judgement about delivering a project on time or you may miss new opportunities. You can immediately see the impact of low trust in action. Depending on the situation you can activate trust triggers that others will associate to different competencies.
How someone experiences you today will reflect who you'll become to them tomorrow.
Knowing your confidence areas is easier because its connected to an external result based on your ability. The challenge with trust is unless you have an indication of what to look for or the evidence of whats most important to the other person you'll be working on your own assumptions.
There are trust principles that are consistent with most people on the planet like honesty, responsibility and accountability. But not everyone will be looking for the same criteria at the same stage.
If you really pay attention to the relationships you've built that are close and the ones that aren't. You'll probably find that the difference in the relationship is because you haven't identified their order of trust.
For some it may be a demonstration of conviction, for others in may be results first, others its status with others of the same seniority (reputation). This is why my study of trust criteria is proving to be fascinating which I'll be releasing soon.
*Trust Criteria - the consistent evidence another needs to see, hear, feel to know you are safe and trustworthy.
You should never stop working on your ability to produce results and build confidence but here's the truth. There is no easy route to trust, but the clearer you are about the result you want from your relationships and what that is for your client, spouse or other the more intentional you can be.
Here is a helpful example from my book the Key Account Hack which demonstrates evidence indicators of deepening levels of trust observed and surveyed of 200 customers.
Want to know more about the pioneering work on Trust and how to really amplify this in your customer relationships? Send me a LinkedIn request and get connected to my customer growth email series and mailing list HERE. You can start the process of learning a new framework of thinking to growth. www.jermaineedwards.com
Founder of the Key Account Hack System - New Key Account thinking that transforms customer relationships and creates predictable sales growth.