Entrepreneurship depends on the levels of trust
Trust is the key to any successful relationship. We all are aware of this. But, do we really know what does it mean to trust someone?
“Trust” can be also translated to Lean on, rely on, be confident on.
But trust means more than a group of letters, trust is a feeling: the feeling that we can depend on another person.
What produces the feeling of trust?
Any close acquaintance of a dysfunctional person at least intuitively recognizes the first element: it isn’t the dysfunctional person’s worst behaviour that damages the relationship, it is the utter inconsistency-and therefore, unpredictability-of the behaviour that’s the problem. You cannot depend on the person to be one thing or another; he/she will surprise you, and ultimately make you so wary that you pull away.
In successful relationships, each party can predict the other’s behaviour, even the bad behaviour. There are some relationships where the predictability cannot exist. For example, the partner of an alcoholic can predict nothing; the worst can happen anytime.
Successful services tend to predictable and several spectacular successes have built their empires on that trait. McDonald’s provides the obvious example. You may not absolutely love the McNuggets and the big shake, but you know that no matter where you order them, the nuggets and shake will always taste the same. You trust McDonald’s because is predictable.
INSIGHT: To build trust, build consistency-in everything you do.
We say we value integrity among our social peers because at least subconsciously, we realize it has a heroic quality; it often requires courage, after all, which is not always easy for us to summon.
But in business, we value it for different reasons.
When we are prospects or clients, we prize integrity because a service that keeps its promises makes at least part of our lives more predictable. We know that our favourite cleaners will have that black sport coat tomorrow, for example so we can plan on wearing it the following day.
We don’t have to worry about the coat, or about having something appropriate and clean to wear that day. We can check that item off our list. We can worry about one less thing.
Unpredictability in life creates distractions and concerns. Less distractions in life, bring clarity and focus. Steve Jobs for example, used to ask for his rooms in hotels (when travelling) to have as little decor accessories as possible, to keep his mind clear. Interesting, don’t you think?
A service’s integrity, in short makes our lives more convenient, more comfortable, more predictable.
INSIGHT: Write down every pledge you make to a client – and be sure that you keep it.
Well, we learned the third trait of a trustworthy person from personal experience. You divulged a secret to someone you trusted. And you learned you shouldn’t have.
A person can act consistently and with integrity and yet still fail to earn your trust because she was not protective.
You fully trust only those people you know will protect you.
This is why lawyers, doctors, psychotherapists, priests have lobbied for and earned privileged status in courts of law. If you confide in one of these professionals he doesn’t have to reveal what you said to him/her-even if that confidence involves a capital crime that you committed, because is a breach of his/hers professional code of ethics.
This very trait defines professional services: they are very ethically and legally bound to preserve any secret a client reveals to them. These services are protective – by law.
We place our trust and confidence in services that protect us, for the reason suggested by the parallels in the words confide, confidential and confidence. Our greatest form of confidence, after all, is our belief that a person we confide in will keep that matter confidential.
In great client relationships, the clients knows that you will act predictably, act and speak with integrity and nothing to harm him/her – ever.
A great service, then is protective. it regards its clients not simply as gold, but as glass; incredibly valuable but frighteningly fragile.
Assume that everything a client tells you is between the two of you. And if the relationship ends, make sure that your obligation of being discreet continues.
INSIGHT: Loose lips sink enterprises.
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Watch this space for articles about “The Power of Clarity in Entrepreneurship.”
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