TIB #49: 3 keys to building trust a seasoned negotiator taught me

Written by Arno Jansen

In this issue, we will dive into the 3 keys to building trust in relationships, whether online or in real life.

Building trust establishes a solid reputation for solopreneurs. When clients, partners, or colleagues trust us, they are more likely to choose us over our competitors. Trust creates a sense of reliability, credibility, and dependability. That trust attracts more clients and opens doors to collaborative ventures.

Trust is also the basis for meaningful connections. It helps to create authentic relationships that go beyond mere transactions. It creates long-term relationships with individuals who support and advocate for your success.

Unfortunately, many people struggle to build trust. In a world where skepticism and cynicism prevail, trust has become a scarce commodity.

Lack of trust leads to bad results, such as:

  • missed opportunities
  • strained relationships
  • a small professional network

But, by understanding and implementing the 3 major steps explained in this issue, you will set yourself up for succes.

Establish yourself as reliable professional, and unlock a world of possibilities.

The keys to building trust are your gateway to Solopreneur success

Last week, I had a captivating encounter with a seasoned negotiator from Brazil. We had met on twitter, seemed to share similar viewpoints and decided to meet “for real” via Zoom.

It was an awesome conversation with a likeminded soul. But I found myself especially astounded by his candid comment that I “radiate trust”.

Now, I know I am trutsworthy, but his comment made me realise did not fully understand why I came across as such.

So, I asked him why he felt that way. I mean, the man is a professional negotiator, he must know a thing or two about building trust, right?

He shared 3 keys of building trust, all were eye-openers for me.

3 essential factors pivotal in establishing trust.

As a solopreneur, you are the brand. You may not use your name as your brand, but since you are running the business, you build all relationships.

So, building trust is essential for long-term success in your business.

Relatability and reciprocation

“Even though our stories were different, you were able to connect with me and relate to me through your stories.”

Relatability and reciprocation play vital roles in building trust and fostering connections. You establish a genuine connection by finding points of relatability and sharing your own stories.

Relatability is the ability to find common ground with others. Bridging the gaps between diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Through storytelling, you can weave your own experiences into the conversation. That allows others to resonate with you.

You show others that you have experienced similar challenges, triumphs, or emotions. That builds a sense of trust and reassurance that you can relate to their own journey.

This is different from hi-jacking the conversation with a “yeah, me too” move. That kills any attempt from the other person to open up to you. Your job is to listen and understand. Showing that you understand is why you share your story.

Reciprocation is another powerful element at play. Sharing your stories invites others to reciprocate and share their own experiences. This exchange of personal stories fosters a deeper sense of trust and connection. You create an equal and balanced dynamic where you both feel heard and understood.

Understanding and paraphrasing

“People feel more understood when you repeat what they just told you in your own words.”

If you repeat in your own words, what they said to you, you confirm their thoughts and feelings. It shows that you have absorbed what they shared, and that you value their perspective.

This is reflective listening. It helps clarify any potential misunderstandings. It also allows the other person to feel heard and understood on a deeper level.

Emotional paraphrasing is another aspect and it takes understanding to another level. Reflective listening is when we use our own words to repeat what someone has said. That way, you show that you understand. Emotional paraphrasing is a way to also repeat in our own words how the other person feels.

It helps us connect with others by showing that we listen and care about their feelings. And that can only happen when you are fully present with the conversation and situation.

Engaging in emotional paraphrasing can create a profound sense of connection and trust. Show that you understand the other person. Not just what they are saying, but also how you think they are feeling.

That builds a safe space for vulnerability and allows for a deeper level of empathy to emerge.

Putting in the effort

“Asking good questions is an immense demonstration of caring about the other person. You asked tough questions, but they weren’t adversarial. They were genuine and interested for the sake of interest in the connection.”

Asking great questions goes beyond surface-level curiosity. It showcases a genuine interest in the other persons thoughts, experiences, and perspectives.

What makes a good question?

They should come from a sincere desire to understand. Thats how the other person can give you “permission” to connect with them.

You should not ask questions so that you can reply and show off your skills, achievements or ego.

Also your approach to asking questions should neither be adversarial nor confrontational. Instead, you have to ask questions that allow the other person to express themselves.

Again, your genuine interest in their responses creates a safe and welcoming space. Only if you able to hold space for them, will people share their thoughts. And that enables a deeper level of connection and trust to develop.

Asking tough questions without making the conversation combative requires a careful balance. It shows empathy and a true commitment to understanding the other person’s perspective. This is how you create a sense of mutual respect. In turn, that allows for a meaningful exchange of ideas.

Have an other-centric mindset

So, to recap, these are the main concepts to building trustworthy relationships:

  • Relatability & Reciprocation: Finding common ground through shared stories
  • Understanding & Paraphrasing: Repeat how you understand the other person, in your own words
  • Put in the effort: Ask questions with the intention to understand, not to reply.

You are doing these things already, since other people do trust you. But being aware of these skills within yourself, helps you build deeper trust and respect.

Yet, building trust is not a cookie-cutter activity. These skills take genuine effort and interest in other people. I call it an “other-centric mindset”.

Now what?

Practice. All. The. Time.

Most people have well-tuned BS meters, so they will see right through you if you fake trust and interest.

But, that finely tuned BS-meter also tells most people if you are trying honestly. You may not come off naturally right from the start, but if you do try, people will pick up on that.

So, the best thing to do, is to go out and practice. When you have a conversation; be present. Listen carefully, see if you can paraphrase what they are sharing. Ask good questions, to further the conversation.

Most importantly: show up with genuine interest. Don’t have a “make a sale” attitude. There is a time for that, but that time is not now.

As solopreneurs, this ability to build trust and respect is invaluable.

Practice this and you will forge authentic relationships. Thos will bring you great relationships and valuable insights in no time. All that will help your decision-making and business strategies focus on long-term success.

NOTE: A big thank you to Fabio Vidigal for the great conversation and taking the time to explain the essential concepts to building trust!

Looking to get more productive, focused, and resilient?

Join my free Focus Finder email course to transform yourself from deeply distracted to fully focused.

    Looking to get more productive, focused, and resilient?

    Join my free Focus Finder course and go from deeply distracted to fully focused.

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