Before you can influence other people, they must like and trust you. How do you appeal to people so that you win their trust?
It begins when they perceive that you are a good person who shares their values. Once they believe you are a wonderful person, they next ask whether they can trust your judgement. They need to believe that you have enough practical experience to always make the right decision. And finally, they have to believe that you want to do the right thing and that your actions will benefit them.
Recently Brad Feld wrote an article about his experience with the GiveForward organization. His article shows how Brad developed trust in GiveForward. He learned that he shared their values, that he could depend on their judgement, and that they would act in his interest.
Let’s use his article to see trust-building in action.
GiveForward and Brad Feld Uphold the Same Values
From the first words of his article, Brad asserts the importance he places on values:
Values matter. A lot.
GiveForward is a medical crowdfunding community that helps friends and family rally support around their loved ones during times of need. At their core they believe that no one should have to face an illness alone. They have derived a mantra, “Create Unexpected Joy” (CUJ), from this core belief which they describe as “surprising people with unexpected gifts of humor, compassion, and humanity.”
Brad couldn’t make it any clearer that GiveForward shares his values:
I’ve been involved with GiveForward since 2012 because their values deeply resonate with my own.
GiveForward Shows That It Is Worth Following
GiveForward may share Brad’s values, but can he trust their experience and judgement? Does GiveForward know what it is doing?
To give Brad an opportunity to test their judgement and and ability, GiveForward approached him with an experiment.
Brad, put in $1,000 and then give us a week to deploy the capital. We’ll send you the results after a week and if you are not impressed, we’ll make a $1,000 contribution to the National Center for Women and Technology.
About a week later Brad received an email with GiveForward’s results. The project exceeded its financial goal and received glowing thanks from the family that started the campaign.
Now Brad knows that GiveForward shares his values and that he can trust their judgement, but what about their goodwill?
GiveForward Puts Other’s Interests Ahead of Its Own
GiveForward repeatedly demonstrated its goodwill. The interests of contributors and clients come ahead of its own.
- Helping “friends and family rally support around their loved ones during times of need” was the original impulse to found GiveForward.
- The people at GiveForward live the mantra “Create Unexpected Joy” in the lives of other people.
- Each year employees receive $500 to create unexpected joy in the life of others in any way they decide.
GiveForward quickly won Brad’s trust with its shared values, street smarts, and selflessness.
You Can Apply Trust-Building Principles Everywhere
At this point you might be wondering how trust-building works in a more workaday organization, perhaps a software or industrial company that wants to build trust with its customers and investors.
You may not share the same heart-warming mission of GiveForward, but building trust works the same everywhere. In all cases you show others that you share their values, that you know what you are doing, and that you will put their interests above your own.