Achieve Success by Building Trust

by Stephen Mills on March 11, 2009

Build Trust

Is there just one thing you can do or one principle that you can practice to ensure success?  Success in whatever you choose to do in life or business?  Probably not, but there is one characteristic that you can develop and practice that will have dramatic and wide-ranging impact on your life.  Trust.

There is one thing that is common to every individual, organization, nation, and civilization throughout the world–one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, and the deepest love. On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, that one thing has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life. That one thing is trust.

Stephen M. R. Covey

The above quote is how Junior (Stephen Covey’s son) starts out his book:  The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything

I can say from my own experience that this is not much of an exaggeration.  Trust makes all the difference in the world.  Think about opportunities that you have missed or will miss because you don’t trust the source of that information or opportunity.  Think about the opportunities for influence that you have or will miss because someone doesn’t trust you.  The power of trust cannot be overstated.  Read this book.  The ideas from it are listed below.

Trust-building behavior:

  1. Talk Straight – Communicate so you cannot be misunderstood.  Don’t hide information, distort facts, or give false impressions.
  2. Demonstrate Respect – Show fairness, kindness, love, and civility.  Do not fake it.
  3. Create Transparency – Tell the truth so it can be verified and be open and authentic.
  4. Right Wrongs – Make restitution in addition to apologizing.  Do it quickly and show humility.
  5. Show Loyalty – Give credit where credit is due.  Don’t gossip or share secrets.
  6. Deliver Results – Complete the right things on time and on budget.  Don’t make excuses for failing to deliver.
  7. Get Better – Continuously improve yourself.  Take risks and don’t be afraid of failure.
  8. Confront Reality – Address tough issues head-on.  Lead courageously in difficult times.
  9. Clarify Expectations – Create shared vision and agreements.  Don’t violate expectations.
  10. Practice Accountability – Hold yourself and others accountable.
  11. Listen First – Understand in a genuine way the thoughts and feelings of others.  Use your eyes and gut to listen in addition to listening with your ears.
  12. Keep Commitments – This is the quickest way to build trust.  Make it your thing.
  13. Extend Trust – Make trust a verb.  Extend it with abundance to those who earn it.

Do you want to change Everything?  Do the above and build trust.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

tom March 11, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Trust is very important in the simplest things of life. Such as meeting new people, talking with a customer.

I mean I noticed improvement and more enjoyment in my job because I learned to be more confident in how I speak to customers on the phone. Actually confidence in how I talk and seem like an expert and being able to carry the conversation smoothly.

In fact, dating wise, i was told that they respect me more because i am open and honest with them without holding back.

So there you go, two great examples.


Happiness Is Better March 12, 2009 at 8:29 am

Trust is necessary is every relationship we have. I really need to read Covey and Covey Jr.’s books.

If you think about it, trust or fear is probably at the foundation of every action. We go to certain restaurants or stores because we trust they are going to provide a certain level of product or service. We put money into the stock market because we trust that it’s going to provide a return.

Great post!


Michael | eVentureToday March 12, 2009 at 8:45 am

Great reminder.

I work a lot in sales, and we all know how many doors trust can open in sales. From introduction, the hardest part of selling is building trust. But once a prospect begins to trust you, because you have shown them that you are looking out for their best interests, getting pen to paper becomes the easy part.

Regards, Michael


Stephen - Rat Race Trap March 12, 2009 at 8:56 am

@Tom, good luck on your dates 🙂

@Happiness is Better, “If you think about it, trust or fear is probably at the foundation of every action.” Yes, I think you are right. The idea may be that one thing that changes everything…

@Michael, I think the hardest part of every relationship is building trust. It must be earned, it is rarely given. I don’t think it is easy for anyone to simply grant trust to someone, even when they want to do so.


tom March 12, 2009 at 9:11 am

Stephen, here is another tip I gathered recently, when you are out with whoever. Especially with women it doesn’t matter what you do, make the decision to go here or there, and don’t depend on her to make that decision.

That is probably one killer for most guys and everyone in general. I mean you dont want to stand there and both of you will say, I don’t know.


Marj Galangco March 12, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Mentioning Stephen Covey reminds me of something he said about the “Emotional bank account”. Most of the time we lose someone’s trust precisely because we make the mistake of making withdrawals from it more often than we make deposits.
In my experience, trust is quickly built when you sincerely give value to others first.


Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills March 12, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Trust is the foundation of all meaningful relationships. When trust proves valid the relationship grows. When trust is violated the relationship is damaged. You can build trust into a relationship and this will automatically strengthen it.


Stephen - Rat Race Trap March 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm

@Marj, Stephen Covey is great. So is Stephen Jr. His book is high quality. I read Stephen Sr.’s book The Eighth Habit a few months ago and thought it was quit good.

@Jonathan, you are correct. This is such an important topic and it doesn’t get the air time equal to it’s importance in my opinion, especially in the corporate world.


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