In You We Trust (Until We Don't).

by Leah Komaiko

Someone asked me last week for some rules for their company to “build trust.”  And I realized I had never thought about trust as a strategy. Because it isn't.

Seems we’re born to trust like we’re born to breathe. We wouldn't make it through infancy if we didn't trust another person to help keep us alive and few would even make it through a first change of diapers without taking a breath.

But then life carries on and we have to take Yoga to be reminded to “breathe." And even if you don’t have “trust no one” tattooed across the length of your arm, most sophisticated consumer radar reads, “guilty until proven innocent.”

The thing is nobody (I know) wakes up saying, “who can I not trust today in business so that my life may be just a little bit more disappointing?”

We wake up wanting to believe life is on our side. We want to trust. It’s not because we’re naive. It’s our basic instinct.

So then how do we do it? How do we “build” this stuff in our businesses?

Maybe it’s because I began as the author of many children’s books that what first comes to mind is the Golden Rule. Not the Golden Rules of Business but that one from kindergarten. “Do unto others as you would have others do to you.”

Since we have stopped being schooled at this point on remembering what that actually means, this idea came to my mind:

Make a list of all the experiences and ways you lost your trust as a consumer from a product company or business service. Get specific on what actually happened. Don’t be surprised if a loss of trust memory comes up from your first lemonade stand or spouse and you don’t need to scratch either off your list. They blend.

Next, whittle your list down to the top 3 - the experiences that bring up the sharpest emotional sting of anger, sadness, disappointment or fear.

Those top 3 experiences that were done to you?  Make these 3 the bottom line behaviors you aim never to perpetuate onto your clients. And flip them.  So that rather than "we will never leave our client in the dark about what's going on," - our clients are informed every step of the way. Thiswon’t be a perfect formula or rules and you will not always do them perfectly but they will be your Trustworthy Brand Playbook.

Loss of trust is a response to a lifetime of painful surprise. Give them a glad surprise -your authentic trustworthiness.

Because when they're not your genuine strategies, they come off to your audiences with the believably of a classroom of kids reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Thank you for reading!

And please play well with others and kindly share this blog with others.