What one question can make or break a relationship? Win or lose a customer for life? What is the question that creates a bond between people?

The deeper we look into business concepts, the more we realize that our actions and behaviors in business mirror our actions and behaviors in life. This holds true for a vast majority of people.

Occasionally, we find a person who can be Dr. Jekyll at the office and Mr. Hyde at home or vice versa. Most of us, however, are congruent in our work and personal lives. Our values drive our actions and behaviors. Our values are with us wherever we go.

Every person has a unique set of values. People like to do business with other people who have a similar set of values.

Put into other words, people do business with people they like and trust.

Think about your relationships and the decisions you’ve made in your life. The bigger the decision and the closer the relationship, the more weight you give to one question: Do I trust this person?

The answer can shape our lives.

The most powerful currency that cuts through all our experiences is the value of trust in building relationships. Once lost, it is impossible to regain. So, too, getting customers, clients and employees to trust you can be complicated, but it is imperative for success — perhaps more important than sales.

If you get others to trust you, it’s easier to grow and nurture your business and give everyone excellent service in all areas of business.

What is the direct relationship between values and trust? Trust must be earned, sometimes quickly. It is much easier to trust someone with similar values. Many of the barriers to trust are removed when people’s values are in alignment.

The value I see as being the most important, beyond honesty, integrity and respect, is to place a value on people for who they are.

Beyond that, the leaders of an organization must exemplify values to breed trust among the rank and file.

How can this be done? Let’s examine the three simple steps to creating values-based trust in your organization:

  • Have leadership create a core values statement to guide your organization.
  • Hire and onboard all employees based on their alignment with those core values, not just their skills.
  • Work on team building to create and foster a culture of trust among people.

A core values statement should be written, visible and broadcast everywhere. It should be on all your hiring materials, on the walls of your business, and, yes, on everyone’s business cards.

New hires should be celebrated, welcomed and immersed in company culture. That is the path to a well-run organization. It is never too late to create this. It is easier as a startup but can be done with a more mature company.

Examine your life and your business. Do you trust people and inspire people to trust you?

Stephen M.R. Covey says, “Over time, I have come to this simple definition of leadership: Leadership is getting results in a way that inspires trust.”

So it seems that trust is one of the foundational parts of life.

It would be sad if we all lived by the axiom “In G-d we trust; everyone else pays cash.”

We all should strive to be a trusted spouse, parent, friend, colleague, leader, etc.

In the words of the 18th century poet George MacDonald, “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

 

Jason Adler is a John Maxwell-certified executive coach (www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/jasonadler) helping people and their organizations hire and keep quality employees.