As a friend once said, “Love is a gift. Trust has to be earned.”
So how do you know when someone trusts you?
In academia, in business and in life, your reputation is built on trust. A high level of readiness of trust informs people’s decisions to:
- employ you
- buy from you
- promote your interests
whether you’re a university researcher or senior executive. The quality of your work gets you talking to the decision maker…..but it doesn’t get you trusted.
I gave a presentation “Becoming The Trusted Adviser” to a group of corporate financiers last week and asked them – “How do you know when you are trusted?”
One said, “Ah, it’s when they sign your first cheque!”
“No,” I replied, “that’s when they demonstrate a willingness to take the risk of finding out. However many testimonials or trusted friends who’ve referred you, they don’t know yet whether to trust you themselves. The only evidence you have to believe they trust you is when you get the second and subsequent cheques.”
The same could be said when you get hired. They’ve chosen you out of a pool of candidates in the hope you can be trusted. The initial 3 month probationary period gives them the first chance of finding out.
There’s a process of 6 steps to be undergone to achieve this state of trust. We start with:
- I don’t know you – the vast majority of the world fall into this category!
- I know of you – they’ve heard your name in passing or maybe have seen reference to your name in a paper or conversation.
- I have met you – they now recognise your name and possibly your face. They don’t know you yet though they’re willing to give you the time of day.
- I like you – they’ve found out you’ve got alot in common. You are welcome to join them at the bar at the end of the day and they’ll probably relax in your company. Be warned though, they still don’t trust you yet. The next step needs time and attention to achieve.
- I trust you – this will take a while, certainly in British culture which is reserved and conservative.
- I advocate you – they are utterly confident in you. They’ll promote you and your ideas, your theories and your advancement. They’re ready to face opposition and champion you with others.
I imagine there are only a few people who’ll be within your 6th sphere of influence including, I hope, friends and family. This happy state of grace is your ultimate objective.