August 21, 2012
Liz published this at 7:21 am
Influence and Trust
Two relationship words — influence and trust — can be found throughout this social business culture. Those of us who authentically enjoy the influence of high-trust relationships with a large audience are finding that to be almost a currency evidenced by the way that we are pursued.
Influence is valued because it wins attention, moves people to action, and sometimes even changes how and what people think. Trust is valued because it extends and deepens influence into a stronger bond. The power of influence and trust has become so studied, demonstrated, and valued that major corporations regularly include influencer outreach in their marketing strategic plans because a few words or a blog post from the right ones can bring thousands of potential customers to them.
How does a person gain influence and earn trust like that?
How to Gain Influence and Earn Trust – 3 Things to Be First
If you’re a person or a brand who wants to establish your own community of fiercely loyal fans, it’s natural that you’d be interested in how to gain influence and earn trust. Building a platform or making an offer as a means to attract an influence network establishes a fragile and at best. The sort of influence and trust that consistently moves people to action comes not from something that we build or offer, but who we are.
If you want to gain influence and earn trust, here are 3 things you need to be first.
- Be clear about your values. Be an example of your values in action. Values establish common ground. When we act from our values we attract people who share them. When we share values, it becomes easy to predict decisions you’ll make and responses you’ll have. So when you point something you believe in or recommend, we can trust that we’ll have the same experience of it.
- Be more than credible. Be honest. Trust is goes beyond believing to knowing. We trust people we know who are what they appear even when we’re not around. The only consistent way to live up to that is to be honest with everyone — including yourself — about your your competencies, your expectations, and your commitments. Take care not use honesty as a weapon. Trust is the hard truth spoken gently. Tell the truth with respect.
- Be a generous, collaborative, and open source. Bring your expertise and your beginner’s mind. Share information. Share expertise. Share your thinking — as a learner as well as a teacher. Share by introducing people who would benefit from knowing each other. Share in gratitude, without expectation of receiving back. Connecting people to good ideas and other good people with good ideas builds influence and trust. Keep your focus on valuing the people who already trust you and providing value for them. They will share you with their friends.
Take a long hard look at anyone who has a truly lasting network of influence and trust. You’ll find these three traits are attracting people to them. People who enjoy a position of influence and trust give attention, move to action, and often change how or what they think because of the people who listen to them.
Influence and trust aren’t one-way streets. No lasting grant of influence or endowment of trust will be gained or earned without an equal openness to influence and a willingness to trust. We think of influencers as teachers, but the greatest teachers never stop learning. And learning requires trust.
What have you learned about influence and trust?
–ME “Liz” Strauss