Have you ever heard this one?
“Ladies, if a guy says he is going to do something, he will. No need to remind him every six months!”
It's funny, in a sad way. We can all name a few people this could be talking about. Someone that tells you they will do something, yet it never seems to get done. Maybe you're even one of those people.
You know what we call people who don't follow through?
Good intentions are not enough to earn trust!!!
The key to building trust is to tell people what you are going to do, when you are going to do it, and then do it! It really is that simple. If you consistently do that over and over, people will trust you.
It is also that hard. If you tell people you are going to do something, but then do not follow through in a timely manner, you will quickly lose their trust. It matters not what your intentions are, what matters is if you consistently do what you say you will do when you say you will do it.
Know what the most common excuse is for not following through? It is “I forgot”!
Let's face it, we all forget things, and it does NOT get better with age. How many times do you hear “I forgot” before you stop trusting someone? How many times will you tell someone else “I forgot”?
Want to be better than 99% of people at building trust?
Keep a notebook or use your calendar or note app on your phone. Make a note whenever you tell someone that you'll do something. Consult your list regularly, and follow through. Let them know if you are going to be delayed with completing the task. This lets the other person know you haven't forgotten about them, and also gives them an opportunity to reassign the project to someone else in order to meet their deadlines if you are truly too busy to take care of their project. Also don't be afraid to say no, if you know you won't be able to complete a project in a timely manner, don't tell them you will!
|Don't forget – write it down!|
These are really pretty simple things to do, but aren't you amazed at how many people simply fail to do what they say they are going to do when they say they are going to do it? Write it down, don't be afraid to say no, set realistic expectations, and consistently do what you said you were going to do if you want others to trust you.
Say what you are going to do, follow up in a timely manner, and you won't be the one everyone jokes about needing to be reminded every six months to follow through. Get this right, and you'll be amazed what people will trust you with and how much this will improve your career and relationships!
Ready for a deep dive on trust? Read The SPEED of TRUST: The One Thing That Changes Everything
About the Author
Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.
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