Trust (Part 3)

3. Be open and authentic

I acknowledge that being open and authentic within the business community often raises eyebrows. Most of us have been trained to leave our personal self outside the door when we walk into the office. I disagree with that.

But let me add this disclaimer (one you’ve heard from me before): Know your audience. Know to what extent they’re willing to “get real with you” — where the boundaries lie.

To the extent that your audience is willing to be open and authentic, I encourage you to respond to the full extent to which you’re comfortable. This authenticity will allow your audience to trust you more profoundly. Besides, you don’t want them wondering what you might be hiding.

4. Show confidence

Your audience will pick up on how you view yourself. If you lack confidence, they’ll know. And if you’re too confident, they’ll notice that too. Neither will serve you well. It’s important that you establish your expertise. But you certainly don’t want to do it in a boastful way. The trick is to frame your past success in terms of why it matters now. What role does it have to play in meeting your audience’s objectives?

Your confidence can be contagious. It’ll help build a mutual natural trust. You know what you’re doing and they’ll take note. And they’ll likely trust you. But you must also show an openness to continuing to learn.

As an expert in your field, if you can show your confidence along with a willingness to listen and grow, you’ll likely score big on the trust meter.

5. Be truthful

This sounds like a foregone conclusion, right? But, according to, human beings are lied to as many as 200 times a day.

In swearing-in ceremonies, you’ll likely hear this affirmation on something similar: “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Being truly honest with your audience requires more than speaking simple truths. It requires giving them complete information. That may mean telling them things they don’t want to hear. That’s the whole truth.

Click here to see parts 1&2

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