03 January 2008

Who knows you?

I wrote some time ago that who you know isn't nearly as important as "Who Knows You". Seth Godin wrote today about something else... "Who trusts you?"

So, if trust is important, it begs the question... what is it that has people trust other people? There are probably many factors that go into the formula of trust, people have written whole books about trust, but I would say there is one over arching principle that is the foundation of trust, the entry level from which all other trust factors are built and I can say it in one word.

Integrity


I could write a whole chapter on integrity because I have studied it in some depth and it has become such an integral (no pun intended) part of how I choose to live my life but in short, the definition of integrity I live by is: "Honouring Your Word".

When people know that they can count on my to walk my talk, to do what I said I would do, their level of trust goes up. This shows up numerous ways every day and I find that I have many opportunities every day to increase my level of trust ( or not ).

I also find that when people in my life don't do what they said they would do that my level of trust for them sometimes goes down depending on how they are about it. It doesn't mean that I love them less, or think less of them. I just means I trust them less. When translates into, I don't count on them as much and when they say something, I don't rely on the validity of what they say as much... in short, I don't make decisions for myself based on what they say.

Why is that important? Because human beings live in stories, we make decisions based on stories, and people who can tell stories well can influence other people and can in turn make a real difference for other poeple. And to be a good story teller, one that can make a difference, one whose stories are believed and can make a difference for others, people need to trust you. Because people listen to people they trust... people talk to people they trust and people do business with people they trust.

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