As we discussed last week, building a foundation of trust in your community is critical to networking success. Without trust meaningful exchange does not happen.
Here are the four most important components of trust:
Competence - Are you competent? Referrals go to people who can solve problems, people who are the best at what they do, and people who will make us look good when we refer to them.
Empathic - Are you a good listener? Truly understanding the goals, passions and interests of others from their point view of allows networkers to make the most productive connection, thereby building the deepest relations.
Believable - Are you believable? “Always honest no matter what” is the credo for those who are most believable. Our communication style also plays into our believability. Being direct, comfortable and adjusting to the style of the receiver helps our believability. Pretenders are always discovered.
Reliable - Do you walk the walk? Doing what you say you’re going to do and making your actions congruent with ethical principles is fundamental to building reliability. You can do a lot of things right, but if you’re not reliable your efforts will all be for naught.
There is no perfection in building trust. In fact imperfection often allows our community to experience how much we really care. Next week post will be about responding to a self-created breakdown of trust.