Tammy M
In my post How to Conduct A One-On-One When Business Networking, I provided three points to keep in mind when conducting a one-on-one. The three points were:

#1 Do you feel the person you are speaking to has integrity and character? Do you trust them?
#2 Make a point that each party learns about the others business.
#3 Keep in mind that you are not selling to the person sitting across the table. You are however selling to every person they know and you are starting a relationship and creating a camaraderie building “sales ambassadors” for your business.

The purpose of this post is to get you thinking about #1 and your definition of trust and how you can measure trust.

Many of us run on our feelings when measuring trust of one another. Feelings are great but sometimes our feelings are not enough so hopefully this post will help you to create your personal definition of trust.

In this case the definition of Trust is: the trait of believing in the honesty and reliability of others.
I personally define trust as the trait of believing in the integrity and character of others.

Lets start with the definition of each word.

Honesty: fairness and straightforwardness of conduct b : adherence to the facts : SINCERITY
synonyms HONESTY, HONOR, INTEGRITY, PROBITY mean uprightness of character or action. HONESTY implies a refusal to lie, steal, or deceive in any way. HONOR suggests an active or anxious regard for the standards of one's profession, calling, or position. INTEGRITY implies trustworthiness and incorruptibility to a degree that one is incapable of being false to a trust, responsibility, or pledge. PROBITY implies tried and proven honesty or integrity.

Reliability: 1 : the quality or state of being reliable. suitable or fit to be relied on : DEPENDABLE 2 : the extent to which an experiment, test, or measuring procedure yields the same results on repeated trials

Integrity: 1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY. 2 : an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS
3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS. synonyms see HONESTY

Character: moral excellence and firmness

With these definitions we can start to form our personal definition of trust.

About a year ago I attended a weekend training and participated in an exercise where there were 7 people in a group, myself included and you had one minute to tell about yourself and create trust on a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 being the least trust and 5 being the greatest trust. The exercise was interesting and eye opening.

One point of interest was, women seemed to gain trust easier than men. Another interesting tidbit was more trust was gained in the one minute when the person shared a personal story than when people gave reasons to trust them.

If you think about these two points it makes sense. Women are traditional caregivers and trust becomes a natural occurrence. Additionally, when we hear a personal story from someone, we relate, we measure and conclude this person has felt the exhilaration of doing the right thing or the regret of it, and therefore have learned the moral lesson. This builds on our trust faster than just providing reasons to trust.

Like I said before, my personal definition of trust is a combination of integrity (honesty) and character (moral excellence). I believe most people give general trust easily but if ever violated trust will be gone and regaining it may never be achievable or will be difficult to gain back.

I once attended a seminar and during the seminar the topic of trust was discussed by the speaker and his definition incorporated integrity and character. He explained his belief by means of a story that I have never forgot. To this day I use this story to aide in my personal measure of trust for the person I am speaking. I would like to share this story with you.

Little Johnny came home from school and shared with his mother an experience from his day.

Johnny said, “Mommy, while at school today there was a new girl that came to our class. A lot of the kids made fun of her because she was fat but I didn’t make fun of her.”

Johnny’s Mommy said, “That’s very good by not making fun of her you showed integrity. But Johnny did tell the other kids not to make fun of her. That would have shown your character.”

This small story was a great example of doing the “right thing”, (integrity) and character (having moral excellence). Do you do the “right thing” even though other people are not and do you stand by your moral beliefs?

My little definition does not take into account reliability but I have found that reliability cannot be determined in a one hour meeting. I have found that someone can be reliable and not have integrity and character. So reliability to me is secondary to integrity and character.

Now you have an idea of my personal definition of trust. Have you begun to define yours? Can you have a one hour conversation with someone and define on a scale from 1 to 5 your level of trust?

No matter what your business, the goal is to develop relationships with the people you encounter each and every day and build trust. Because people do business with those they know, like, and trust.

Do the people you encounter everyday know, like, and trust you? Most business owners think that 80% or more trust them when in fact the number is usually closer to 50% or less. So how can you establish trust with the people around you?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:
• Be consistent in your actions and with how you treat other people. Use the golden rule, treat others as you would want to be treated yourself.
• When having your one-on-one provide stories about your experiences to help the other person feel you share like experiences that demonstrate your integrity and character.
• When you promise a one-on-one know that you will only be able to reschedule it once or twice. More than that you will be compromising your reliability and therefore compromising the level of trust other people have in you.

I personally have had people who would promise a one-on-one with me and then cancel it several times. When this happens more than twice I stop trying to have a one-on-one with them and I throw away their business card because I feel the message they are telling me is I do not matter to them. I will never give them a referral because of the way they treated me. We have all had similar experiences so make sure you are consistent with each person you deal with and treat them as well as you would want to be treated.

I hope this has given you food for thought. There are so many people we deal with everyday and making decisions on who and when you are willing to provide a referral and basically allow someone to borrow your name and reputation is important.

Next time I hope to provide you with something to think about with #2 Make a point that each party learns about the others business.
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