The Secret to Gaining and Maintaining Trust

Gaining Trust with Integrity

If you’re going to have a positive influence over anyone or anything, you’re going to need to earn trust. Trust is what allows you to lead a prospective customer to a sale, a team to victory, or a business to success.

“Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.” John Maxwell

No Trust = No Influence = No Leadership

So how do we earn someone’s trust? Next, how do we maintain that trust?

Here’s the secret in one word:


Sadly, our generation has grown to expect a lack of integrity. We are reluctant to trust any marketing message or service provider. We fear that their message is somehow deceitful or their service is some kind of scam. We default to distrust.

The trump card to this skeptical attitude is radical authenticity; when the story you tell matches the story you live. That’s when people take notice. It’s when they begin to have faith in you and your ability. By being a leader of great integrity, you will naturally earn trust.

Please allow me to unpack this in 2 points…

Be Who You Say You Are

Yesterday, I talked about giving everything away for free. You don’t just want to appear generous, but really be generous. The point of this is to not only provide people with valuable information, but to establish your expertise in that field.

Here’s the catch – if you say you’re the expert, then you need to be the expert. This means that you go to great lengths to learn your industry. You keep up with the latest advances. You learn the new technology. You know all the ins and outs.

Do What You Say You’ll Do

I have a friend who’s motto is, “under promise, over deliver.” He knows very well that working with customers is all about setting expectations and meeting them. If you fail to meet those expectations, you lose trust. You cease to be the expert.

When you meet and exceed expectations, you’re merely fulfilling the promise made when you cast yourself as a professional. You’ve not only created a remarkable experience for your customer, but a raving fan for your business. Fans are invaluable.

Live it Out

Focus on this important character trait. If you’re not in business, this still applies to you. You need the trust of the people around you – family, friends, co-workers, etc. It’s the only way to build meaningful relationships and live in real community with people.

The secret to gaining this trust and maintaining it lives in one word: integrity.

What’s your secret to earning trust?

I love to write about integrity in leadership and life, as well as other topics that will help make you a better leader. Subscribe to my RSS feed for future updates. It’s quick,easy, and free!

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6 Responses to The Secret to Gaining and Maintaining Trust

  1. Life, for instance February 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Great post! Seems we are telepathically connected through the blogosphere – my topic today was very similar. I like how you handled it.

    I think one of my biggest pet peeves is when people don’t do what they say they’ll do. In The Four Agreements, it’s number 1 – “Be impeccable with your Word.” Having that as a pet peeve is challenging because there’s not way I’m going to be like THAT! See what I mean?

    What is my secret to earning trust? I strive to be genuinely me. That’s all I have to give.

  2. JD Eddins February 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Integrity. Why is it that so many leaders take shortcuts here when it will be the most damaging place to take one.

  3. Jeff Goins February 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    So good. Spot on. I just had a conversation with my younger sister about integrity: it’s so, so, so important to be who you say you are.


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