Want to Build Trust? Avoid these Phrases

customer-1253483_1280Trust is the bedrock of business. It’s necessary to conduct even the simplest transaction. When you order a burger, you trust it’s edible. The same holds true for coffee — you trust it isn’t cold or too hot. In fact, you might say trust is the very reason the infamous McDonald’s hot coffee lap spill turned lawsuit even occurred. The legal principle is unclear to many because it seems to defy common sense. But, the product was not fit for the purpose intended. It’s supposed to be consumable from the moment the customer received her order. That too, undermined trust. She trusted the coffee was ready to consume, not scald.

Want to Build Trust? Avoid these Phrases

In the world of business, trust is a very important asset. It’s a factor which dictates whether you’ll do something or decline to do it. We’re always looking out for our own best interests. And, it’s why we need to know how to tell who is lying and who is telling the truth. Earning trust isn’t complicated but as the nearby quote points out, earning it back is quite challenging. It is very difficult to restore because it cuts to the core of an individual’s personality and motivation.

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. But trust is fragile. If you lose it, it’s very difficult — if not impossible — to restore it. —Entrepreneur.com

Not surprisingly, distrust and dishonesty are part of the five D’s of partnerships. And, it doesn’t have to be a formal agreement to operate together, it’s also true with vendors and even with customers. Psychologist Robert Plutchik identifies eight primary emotions: fear, anger, sadness, joy, disgust, trust, anticipation and surprise. Notice trust is among these primary emotions. This is because it’s a fundamental factor in every single relationship, whether personal or professional. So, if you want to build and keep trust, you should always avoid the following phrases:

“Believe me.” It’s known in sociological and psychological circles people who are lying tend to use certain words. Among these particular words are “honest,” honestly,” and “believe.” People who are not being honest usually give their untruth away through these telltale signs. When you tell someone they must believe you, it immediately causes them concern.

  • “I would never…” When you say this, you’re referring to a possible future event, not the past. In other words, if you asked someone if he or she robbed a convenience store and you got an answer starting with, “I would never,” it means it doesn’t apply to the past. So, don’t use this phrase because it undermines trust.
  • “As far as I know.” While this might be a completely honest answer, it’s a risky one to utter. This is because if it turns out not to be true, you’re on the hook. Instead, state what you do know emphatically and do not hold back any probable contingencies.
  • “Do you doubt me?” This is another version of “believe me” or “trust me.” You’re actually asking for someone else’s trust because you don’t believe you are coming off as genuine. This phrase can raise more doubt than alleviate it.
  • “To the best of my recollection.” This phrase is tricky because it could be an honest answer. But, that’s not the way others can take it to mean. When you say this, you’re not instilling confidence and as a result, it can easily be taken as a lie. Instead, state what you actually remember. If you aren’t sure, then just say you aren’t.

What phrases you try to avoid? How do you build trust through communication? What methods do you find most effective to earn trust? Please share your thoughts and experiences!

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