Do People Trust You?
You will not succeed if no one trusts you. People need to believe you, have confidence in you, depend on you.
Losing trust is easy. You forget a promise you made. You fail to do what you said you would do.
If you break someone’s trust, you can pretty much expect they will not support you.
When business owners, executives and managers cannot be trusted, no one will buy from them or work for them. Bankruptcies, lawsuits and government investigations start with broken agreements.
Governments also run into trouble when they break their word. When its citizens or other countries expect one thing and get another, they demand new leadership.
Trust is essential to marriages. In fact, you could reduce most divorces down to broken agreements. “She agreed to not have an affair!” “He was going to treat me well!” “I thought I was going to be getting a husband/wife who ________.”
“One's regard for another is based, in no small degree, on whether or not the person keeps his or her word. Even parents, for instance, would be surprised at the extent they drop in the opinion of their children when a promise is not kept.”
“People who keep their word are trusted and admired. People who do not are regarded like garbage. Those who break their word often never get another chance.”
“One should never permit another to give his or her word lightly. And one should insist that when a promise is made, it must be kept.”
“Keep your word once given.” — L. Ron Hubbard from The Way to Happiness
10 Benefits of Earning Trust
1. You earn an excellent reputation
2. You spend less time convincing people to do what you want them to do
3. You are selected for opportunities as you are dependable
4. You have more pride as you trust yourself
5. Even if someone disagrees with you, he or she will respect you
6. Your business dealings are smoother
7. You set an example that others like to follow
8. People have less reason to attack you or criticize you
9. Trustworthiness is an essential part of a successful personality
10. People are more willing, even happy, to give you money
1. Make firm promises.
When you know you can do something or provide a specific result, don’t hesitate to say so. Look people in the eye and tell them the truth. “I will complete that project by Friday, without fail.” “If the car won’t start, call us and we’ll send a tow truck within an hour.” “You can deposit the check today.”
Never promise anything you are not positive you can deliver.
2. Keep your small promises.
People often think small promises are unimportant. For example, you say, “I’ll call you Tuesday” but then you don’t call until Thursday. You say, “I won’t tell anyone about your wife’s drinking problem,” but then you tell a few people anyway. You say, “I’ll pay you back tomorrow,” but then completely forget.
If you don’t take small promises seriously, you damage your reputation. You appear disorganized or irresponsible. You make the other person feel unimportant which makes him or her treat you the same way.
On the other hand, you can build a trustworthy reputation by starting small.
People will say things like, “Thanks for remembering to send me the file this morning.” “You’re the only one who paid me for yesterday’s lunch.” “You stopped by on Saturday, just as you said you would. Thank you.”
When people see that you keep your word on small things, they are more likely to believe you can keep your word on big things.
3. When keeping your word is difficult, do it anyway.
If you can’t hold up your end, don’t rationalize or excuse your failures. “He won’t care that my payment is late.” “She knows I usually arrive on time.” “They don’t treat me with respect, so I don’t need to honor their contract.”
Asking to change the agreement is a better idea. “I said I would take you to the movies tomorrow night, which I’m still willing to do, but could we change it to the following night?” “I really thought I could deliver that printing job to you on the 15th, but the press broke down, so I’d like to ask you for another day.”
However, if you really want to be a success in life, never miss a deadline, always keep your word and never fail to keep a promise. No excuses.
Stay up late, break a sweat, push yourself, find solutions, work harder, persist, push, demand, get your hands dirty and make it go right despite the cost. The cost of failing is much higher.
You can say, “Even though my car had to go to the shop, and even though someone bounced a check on me, here is your payment, as promised, on time.” Even better, simply say, “Here’s your payment.”
4. Make others keep their promises to you.
Never take agreements you make with others lightly. Repeat back their promises while looking into their eyes. “As you said, you'll be here on Wednesday at 11:00, right?” Or “If we sell the car, we’ll split the money 50/50, correct?”
Fortunately, most people keep their word. You can assume the best in people.
But if someone breaks a promise, don’t let it slide. Be blunt. Without smiling, tell the person, “You said you would pay me by last Wednesday.”
Don’t trust that person in the future without proof he or she has changed.
When you surround yourself with people who you can depend on, you can focus on more important issues.
5. If the agreement includes details that might be difficult to remember, put it in writing.
Most business or partnership lawsuits stem from verbal agreements or vague contracts. One side or both sides are certain the other is breaking an agreement.
While you and others may have every intention of keeping promises, your memories can be faulty.
Do not agree with statements like, “All I need is your handshake” or “We can remember everything” or “Don’t worry, we’ll work it out if there’s a problem.”
Instead, get the details in writing, especially when money is involved.
When the details of a complex agreement are clear, in writing and signed it’s easier for everyone to keep their word.
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