Continuing on the trust factor, what are all the other factors which builds/destroys trust?
All of us know someone who has had a tendency to brag or enlarge the truth on a regular basis. One of the leaders I used to follow gave a powerful speech. It was powerful. I can tell his style of delivery was impeccable, passionate. Towards the end of his speech, he quoted Rudyard Kipling(RK)'s If and instead of giving credit to RK, he said he wrote it. My jaws dropped instantly and I was embarrassed to say the least. This person, over time loses credibility with people. Usually, this person is someone you would not describe as authentic or real. Over time, you are likely to lose trust in anything this person says. Indeed, this person will definitely lose personal credibility as a result of this behavior. What is going on with the person?
The person most likely wants others to see him or her in a way that is different than what he/she believes about him/herself. One of my business coaches always used to tell " Express, but don't try to impress." If someone does this kind of bragging, your reaction will be , "If you can't be sincere and honest in what you say or how you share information, I can't trust you. You brag and enlarge the truth. You aren't for real. And if I can't trust you, I don't want a close relationship with you." Ultimately the person has lost personal credibility because he/she has lost your trust.
Another group of people I find it difficult to trust are stiff or somewhat stilted in their communication with me. It is difficult to get a sense of who this person really is. These are individuals who are likely to open up very little to anyone and reveals little about themselves. They keep everyone at arm's length-almost if there is a wall surrounding them. The result is that others find it difficult to trust someone who is so unwilling to demonstrate openness and authenticity. The fence they have developed has created a distance with others, decreases trust, and, ultimately, decreases the opportunity for this person to building lasting trusting relationship with them. Others will say "If you don't trust me to enough to be sincere and open, I really can't trust you either." Without trust from others, the individual loses credibility.
When someone behaves in a way that makes sense to us and inspires to trust him/her as being authentic and real, that person increases personal credibility. And the opposite is true as well. When we interact with someone who is unwilling or unable to be sincere or authentic, we lose trust.
Karthik, how do you know all of this?
Some of it is by observation from other people. I am guilty for some of these and just like the title of my webpage says, "Striving for Excellence", I am trying to learn from my mistakes and so that I can learn from it and others can benefit from it as well.
I am currently in India and having a chance to observe more people, I am realizing how so many people are oblivious to their blind spots. For some of the people, blind spots can be blind zones. I am thankful to God for making me identify and rectify my blunders so that I can learn from them.
When someone is transparent, we can see through it. Nothing is hidden, no barriers exist, and nothing is covered up. When someone is transparent, we know that we are seeing the 'true' person. But transparency is more than being truthful- it is being truthful in a way that others can easily detect. When someone is transparent, and clearly demonstrates behaviors that others value and trust, personal credibility is much more easily achieved. The opportunity to be transparent and authentic is there for every human on earth.
All of us have an inbuilt antennae wherein we can interact with someone briefly and determine the person's sincerity, authenticity and comfort with simply being themselves.
Individuals who possess strong personal credibility have an authenticity about them that is detectable. One such person who can think of immediately is my wife "Shobana". She gives an "I am who I am impression to others." Typically, the more transparent people are, the less inclined they are at trying to impress others. Now, this doesn't mean they don't care about others or the impact they have on them-it is quite the opposite. It means simply that the focus is not on, "What are you thinking of me?' but instead on, "How can I better know and understand you?'.
People who are transparent in a positive and genuine way are typically self-accepting. They understand that they are imperfect beings. They know they mess up, make mistakes and don't have all the answers, They are strong enough to accept this, and then go about the process of living their life by internally acknowledging imperfections and challenges- and learning from them.
Let us all do that as the bottomline for all relationships is trust. People love to have relationships with people whom they trust and respect. People love to build businesses whom they have trust. Let us work on these and make it happen!