August 28, 2014 Jez

Building Trust

Why is it so hard to trust people? Why do we look mainly at the negative, rather than the positive when we meet someone new at a networking event? We always have our opinion ready about someone and mostly it is not that nice. So, why can we find several reasons to distrust people instantly, before we find a couple of them to start trusting people?

Most people agree it takes time and effort. We wrote about the “Know, Like and Trust” factorfrom our American colleague Bob Burg before. And indeed it takes time to build up trust. How can you facilitate building trust? Actually, it is quite easy to take the first steps.

Let’s assume you are on holiday. You are sitting next to someone at the bar, the bus or the beach. At some point in time you start talking to each other. How long does it take to build a first level of trust? Probably less than 10 minutes, more likely 5. How’s that possible? The best way forward is to find something in common. It could be a location, an experience, education, job or someone you both know.

As soon as you find out that you are from the same city, have the same hobby or studied at the same university, something changes! This stranger now looks more familiar. You like him/her a little bit more. And you continue the conversation. You actually invest in the relationship. You want to know more and learn to know this person just a little bit better. After all you share already something in common.

After a while you become friends and maybe you’ll never see each other again, but almost always, there is an elevated level of trust when the holiday is over. If you were to meet again, you most likely get to a similar level instantly, right?

Now, my question is simple: When you agree, even know, that this is a successful start of a trusted relationship in your personal life, why don’t you apply this in your professional life?It will help you to connect faster and better with others at any (networking) event!

To your success,

Bert Verdonck

LinkedIn Expert | Networking Speaker | Lifehacker | Happy Chocoholic

PS: If you want to learn more about building trust, come and see us at the Trust Conference, 10thSeptember in London. See you there!

PPS:Looking for more LinkedIn tips? Use one or more of the 10 strategies to find the right people for you via the bestselling book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” (a FREE download is available at