We’ve all blown it. Maybe we got cold feet on a commitment, ran to our cave in fearful isolation, or forgot to follow through on our word. If you want outrageous success in business, leadership, or your most intimate personal relationships, you have to build trust and maintain a trusting relationship.

Trust is the software of success. If it is not properly installed and maintained the hardware will not work. No business, organization, leader, church, family or marriage will work without trust.

Here are 3 ways to build trust:

1. Show up with integrity

My dad told me the story of a man that visited his wife, who had Alzheimers, in the nursing home. Every week the man visited his wife and spent time with her, even though she could no longer recognize him or remember that he was her husband. A friend asked why the husband continued to visit the wife. He replied, “Because I recognize her.”

Now that’s showing up with integrity. Not because he had to but because he chose to.

If you want more trust, show up with an integrity that grows from a solid, mature character. Are you showing up with integrity in your personal and professional life?

2. Stand up with responsibility

Leaders and people who are defensive, point the finger, and blame others are secretly seen as untrustworthy. We might get mad at leaders when they make mistakes but we will also respect and trust leaders who stand up and accept responsibility for their mistakes. One of my coaching clients is a very successful business man who once said, “God created me with broad shoulders for a reason.”

If your marriage is empty, don’t blame your spouse. If your personal life is unhappy, don’t blame your parents. If your business is struggling, don’t blame your employees and the economy. Man up, stand up, and take responsibility for your success. Then and only then will people truly trust you.

Are you standing up with responsibility in your personal and professional life?


3. Speak up with accountability

Words hold the power of life and death. They can create or destroy. Our word is our bond. If what we say and what we do match with congruence, people will increasingly trust us. If we say one thing and do the opposite, people will mistrust us. Let your yes be yes and let your no be no. Say what you mean and mean what you say. People who talk in generalities confuse us. We doubt them and eventually don’t believe them. We don’t trust them and won’t buy from them.

My wife frequently reminds me not to exaggerate. I’ve started paying closer attention and correcting myself when sharing statistics, stories, and information so that it is more accurate. Speaking with accuracy speeds up the trust process. Being clear speeds up the trust process. Are you speaking up with accountability in your personal and professional life? Even when you blow it, you can spring forward, build trust and maintain trust by showing up with integrity, standing up with responsibility, and speaking up with accountability.

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