Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Who you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you’re saying.’ These days we are often hearing the word “trust” used time and again.

Trust is the foundation on which relationships are built. It is the reliance you have on the integrity of another person. When you trust someone you believe that he or she is going to do what you expect.

Is trust something you can create with just words?

Actually, when it comes to marketing and advertising, researchers found that placing the statement “you can trust us” at the end of an ad can cause consumer trust scores to jump as much as 33%. With advertising,everything comes back to the words and the message, and there are words that do inspire trust

You can use the right words and phrases to sound ‘trusting’, however language is no replacement for being a trustworthy person. 

So aside from words and language, what are some things that you can do to build trust.

#1 Trust Yourself– If you want to be trusted, learn to trust yourself first. Being vulnerable is a strength. And you cannot trust yourself without being vulnerable. When you try so hard to be someone you are not you come across as being phony. Trusting yourself is crucial to gain other’s trust.

#2 “I understand” are words that when used with conviction are important to building trust. Being able to empathize, to convey a sense of acceptance, to be heard and understood are the keys to establishing trust.

#3 Keep your word Your word is one of your greatest assets.

#4Tell the truth– Friedrich Nietzsche said “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you”. If people catch you in a lie they will not trust your word.

#5 Be transparent- show people the details that they don’t necessarily have to see, but that you are willing to show them anyway.

#6 Be Persistent– work hard and keep your promises and you will be respected, valued and trusted.

#7 Help others to achieve what they want. A good way to build trust is to do things for others and treating them respectfully and fairly. Kindness goes a long way.

#8 Keep your Commitments- The more times you meet other people’s expectations of you, the greater the trust you will earn 

 #9 Participate – When you don’t participate or when you do not contribute anything others can find you difficult to trust. Offer your insights. Even if they don’t agree with you, they will value the fact that you are willing to offer your views.

#10 Communicate with Intention-Trust-hinges on your intention, active listening and not trying to establish who is right. Communication is the vehicle through which trustworthiness is delivered.

You can not expect to build trust on words alone,  you need to back them up with actions. Lao Tzu said “He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.”  

Trust is the foundation of every peace negotiation, every business collaboration and every truly meaningful endeavor and like reputations, trust can be easily broken and never well mended. Trust is a precious commodity that takes time to build, not just with words, but with actions.

I invite you to share your experiences or thoughts, or comments. You can email or call for more information on soft skills/interpersonal skills workshops that can transform employees.