Hemingway extracts

What’s the quickest route to Trust?

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

Ernest Hemingway

Have I given you a reason to trust me?

Not really. Unless you really want to.

Most of the time the only way to build trust is to earn it. You need to do things consistently that make others feel they can rely on you. You have to be helpful. Do good. You can’t let them down, not once. If you do and you have not lost ground then you are already firmly in that place called trust. The place that allows you to make mistakes and still maintain the confidence of your spouse, friend, team, company or community could be seen to define the highest level of that place called trust.

What the heck was Hemingway saying then?

Does his quote seem cavalier? Just trust someone to see if you can trust them. No, not really. Not to me anyway. We can all agree that trust that is earned is a good thing, even comforting, but when does that start? What, for example, does trust do to a new relationship?

  • Can you trust me?
  • Do you trust me?
  • Will you trust me?

Thos are awkward questions that NEVER get asked. Why?

Isn’t trust implicit until such time that there is a reason why it can no longer be?

Here are some examples to consider.

You buy product from the brands that you know and like (er, trust) but isn’t there something new you want to try on occasion? Sure there is. So, what do you do? You ask a bunch of people that you don’t know what they think (internet research abound) and you ask your friends what they think but at the end of the day isn’t the decision is still yours? Naturally. Informed or not you start THAT relationship with trust. You trust that the product will do for you what it does for everyone else.

You hire a new employee after checking their references, talking to your peers and testing their ability through the interview process. You make the decision to hire based on their experience, your experience and your gut. Even if the new employee comes with personal references it is still up to you to decide. You trust they will fulfill the requirements of the job you have hired them for.

You enter into a new romantic relationship with someone after meeting them and feeling a spark. You talk about things that interest you both and feeling that you are compatible and share the same values, whatever those may be, you embark on a new relationship. You trust each other’s intentions.

After all that what do you do with this one?

A friend and former colleague told a story about a pitch he and his partners had with a potential client to provide design services for the client’s new facilities. The client was a big player in the international music industry. The challenge was that these music guys understood tangibles. You hear an artist’s work and you can decide if you want to back them. While my colleagues firm certainly had work that could demonstrate their ability they had never done work in the music industry prior. They had their wits, drive and desire to back them up plus whatever precedent they could bring to the table.

During the interview my colleague and his partners were being challenged on why their ideas were any better that their competitors. What set them apart? The discussion went back and forth on the merits of their skills and abilities until a question came that stopped the conversation in its tracks “How do you know that we will actually like your ideas?” To paraphrase, he responded, “Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.” The client, without missing a beat, looked him straight in the eye and rebutted, in total earnest, “You know what trust me means in LA? It means f**k you!”

They got the job.

Trust me yet?

About this Author: Ralph Dopping (198 Posts)

A quirky sense-o-humour coupled with an indelible sense of stylish sarcasm makes it difficult to take the world too seriously doesn't it? My faves: fun, passion and hard work. I work here everyday: www.designdialog.ca


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