Here are our 7 surefire ways to get people to like you, respect you and trust you.
Honesty and integrity are the two qualities employees, suppliers, customers and colleagues expect out of everyone they interact with. Its better to be transparent in your interactions from the beginning rather than trying to unravel the deceit and mistrust you’ve created later. People can understand human error, they don’t understand being lied to.
Admit to your mistakes. Show empathy. Create personal connections. These all make you human and a person rather than just a company that people are dealing with. If you missed a deadline, own up to it. If a client isn’t being responsive call them and show concern for them at a personal level. Remember the details – ask about grandchildren or a vacation that they took. By creating a personal connection you are also creating authenticity which goes hand in hand with credibility.
Professional reputations are made on keeping your promises. If you give your word that something will be taken care of, make it happen. If an employee was promised a promotion, follow through. If you promised to source something for a client – do it. No one is indispensable so show your value by being dependable. If you’re running into obstacles then communicate that to the person. They will be understanding of your mistakes if they feel that you have made the effort. It only takes a minute to call Jane and say – “We’re having a delay in sourcing that part for you. Offices in China are shut down for a National Holiday and won’t reopen until Tuesday. I’ll update you next week on the new timeline.” That 1 minute email just reinforced your credibility quotient in their minds.
Don’t just show up to meetings on time – get there early. Ask if you can set up in the conference room and always have extra copies of samples, notes and important materials. Ask everyone for their email addresses and send a recap email following the meeting with any action items as well. Respect their time too. While you might want to close a deal or make a sale, don’t monopolize their time by continuing the meeting past its scheduled end. Send the recap and follow up with them via phone instead. By appreciating that their work is equally as important as yours you earn their respect and their trust.
Mind your manners
Manners do not lose their power when you exit grade school. Treat everyone with the same respect and authority. From the janitors to the CEO be kind and gracious in your interactions with them. One company I worked with had a higher level employee who floated through different departments taking jobs in each field for a few weeks at a time. He would sit in on meetings with new vendors to get an impression of the values of the company they were dealing with. Did they ignore the factory worker sitting in the meeting or did they solicit his opinions during the meeting? Don’t use foul language or crack inappropriate jokes. You never know what can offend others so its wise to choose your words carefully.
Take a deep breath
Conflicts are going to happen. How you handle them will determine how others perceive you and if you will gain or lose their respect with your actions. When things get heated, don’t let it escalate. Take a deep breath and step back for a moment. Try to look at the situation from both sides and reach a compromise. Offers suggestions or alternatives that will work for both of you. It’s easy to take conflicts personally and feel slighted but its imprtant to remember that business is business.
Keep your options open
Maintain positive relationships with everyone you interact with. You never know when you might need a reference from them. You might find yourself in a position where you can’t count on a positive reference from a past employer but you can get one from a client you worked for with them or a business colleague. These types of relationships are priceless and are what careers are built on. Never speak negatively of anyone, you never know when you might need something from them.
Having people like you, respect you and trust you is at the very core of any successful businessperson. Credibility isn’t something you can buy, you have to earn it. You earn it by keeping your values at the forefront of every interaction you have.