If our goal is to be liked, we might brush off the importance of trust
It’s true. Imagine that you’re in a situation where you need to be brutally honest with someone. Perhaps as the role of manager in your business. If your goal is to simply be liked by people, you’re more inclined to not be as candid with your employee as you should be. But if you would rather be honest and trustworthy, the option of someone liking you is not a priority: truth is. You see, you can be likable and dishonest as long as nobody knows about your dishonesty. But once the truth comes out, you cannot be dishonest and likable (unless, of course, bribery comes into play).
So what does it have to do with business?
Everything, really. Trust is something that we carry from our personal lives into our professional lives (a division that I am not sure truly exists, but that is another article). As the famous Zig Ziglar once wrote:
“If people like you they’ll listen to you but if they trust you they’ll do business with you”
You wouldn’t do business with someone who you knew was actively trying to cheat you, would you? Or how about buying a product from a company, only to find out that there were several expensive strings attached that now render your investment useless unless you shell out extra cash? We’ve all been there, and it’s not a fun place to be – nor is it a place we would return to if we could avoid it. For that reason, we should seek to be honest and trustworthy in all of our business transactions and dealings. You’ll earn the trust of those around you which will result in a higher volume of repeat customers, and a lower turnover rate of employees. Of course, it is possible that your likability will suffer through this, but I actually doubt that it will. In fact, I would bet that your likability will improve alongside your trustworthiness.
Integrate trust and integrity into every part of business
It is well to be trustworthy yourself, but even better if the culture of the business you operate promotes it as well. It only takes a single untrustworthy employee to discredit a team of people, a business, or even an entire brand. Guard against this by making integrity the central pillar of every action that an employee takes. As Steven Shussler says in his book It’s a Jungle in There, “Truth is the gateway to trust. An honest, trustworthy entrepreneur is not always the easiest person to be, particularly in trying times, but is the kind of person, I believe, we should all strive to become.”
Gensler, Arthur (2015). Trust is the most powerful currency in business. Fortune.com. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/07/28/trust-business-leadership/
Shussler, Steven (2010). It’s a Jungle in There. Newyork, NY: Sterling Publishing