Connections Lead to Relationships

From Win the Race for 21st Century Jobs

The Trust Factor

The next time you find yourself in a bookstore, head over to the Networking and Business section and look for a book called The Speed of Trust (copyright © 2006 by CoveyLink, LLC) by Stephen M. R. Covey. Many networking professionals consider it the definitive work on trust in relationships, particularly how trust is earned and how it's lost.

Reciprocity Keeps Relationships Balanced

All solid relationships are built on trust and reciprocity. But in the beginning, many people need to ask themselves a key question to find out if a relationship will be worth nurturing. That is:

What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM)

If there is perceived value in the relationship, most people will have no difficulty in building the bonds of trust and the bridges of reciprocity to keep the relationship growing and evolving over time.

But please note that I said “most people” … there are some individuals who don’t grasp the need for reciprocity and their selfish behavior quickly dissipates any initial interest others may have in them.

This “breed” of individuals is what author Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone) identifies as networking jerks. These lost souls have no clue as to what reciprocity really means. They travel through life with their self-centered entitlement mentality on full display, completely unaware that they openly and publicly alienate others and prevent connections from developing into relationships (or preventing connections from occurring in the first place).

After identifying them as such, the safest method for dealing with networking jerks is to simply ignore them. There is no need for a confrontation with someone whose personality doesn’t gel with yours.

Trust Maintenance

Now let’s take a look at some specific actions you can take to maintain trust and keep a relationship alive:

· Be direct, open and honest in all communications with others

· Maintain a level of respect for others that they begin to view as your “brand”

· Admit mistakes when you make them

· Demonstrate appreciation and gratitude for the efforts of others

· Protect the privacy of others; always keep private information confidential

· Establish a track record for getting results

· Set realistic benchmarks for improving your own performance and value

· Demonstrate a willingness to confront difficult problems “head on”

· Set up mutually agreed “accountability milestones”; i.e., a healthy relationship allows each member to voice expectations without hurt or hesitation

· Demonstrate your prowess as a troubleshooter but allow for divergent points of view

· Keep promises and commitments and establish a solid track record of unquestionable reliability

· Be willing to risk the extension of trust to others

I'll see you on the radio this and every Sunday morning at 8am (EST) on Your Career Is Calling on 107.7 FM and online on This week we discuss “Powerful Lessons to Career Management”.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Best wishes and own your career,

Rod Colón
Career Management Consultant, Executive Coach, Speaker, Author
Weekly Co-Host of Radio Show "YOUR CAREER IS CALLING".

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