It doesn’t take a long time to create trust with people. If someone told you otherwise, think twice. Trust creation begins the second you start interacting with a person, and it won’t take long for you to make judgments about the other person. Trust is a mix of the rational and the emotional and quick emotional decisions are collective among people.

The key to quickly accelerating trust is to apply the appropriate mindset and skillset right away.

 Here are three steps you can do to jumpstart a trust-based relationship with someone:

1. Apply the right mindset

Trust is as much about using the right skills as it is about entering a relationship with the right mindset. Become aware of the stories that you carry around in your head. What is your attitude towards trust-building in general? What picture do you already have about the other person? Is there any prejudice? How do you see yourself in that relationship? Take stock. Be observant. Bust the myths.

If you believe that trust takes a long time, you may miss out on an excellent opportunity to start a trust-based relationship on that day. If you assume it won’t be straightforward to create trust with people, this false assumption may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.


 2. Set your intentions

The right intention is everything! Without it, you might run into the woods without the map and get lost. Be committed to a specific outcome, but don’t be too rigid. Instead, stay flexible and playful in the new relationship. If you are attached to the result, you may be too self-focused, which can dampen the first spark of trust with someone. Focus on serving the other person, not yourself.


 3. Show your trustworthiness

Point one and two was preparation. Now it’s time to prove to the other person that you are trustworthy.

Show your credibility

  • Credibility is about know-how and honesty. Speak the truth, always!
  • State your point of view in a kind but firm way. Show you’ve done your homework.
  • Don’t talk around the bush. Answer direct questions with direct answers.
  • Be confident, but not arrogant.

 Prove your reliability

  • Small things such as being on time and honoring the other person’s schedule can help you score points on the reliability test.
  • Create familiarity by using the other person’s terminology.
  • Dress appropriately to make the other person comfortable around you (don’t over- or underdress).
  • Don’t make big promises that you cannot keep. Instead, make small promises that you can over-deliver on.

 Increase intimacy

  • In a business context, the word intimacy seems misplaced. Yet, a certain kind of nearness between two people is necessary to create trust in relationships, even at work. Listen to the other person with empathy.
  • Could you tune in to what he or she is saying? Listen to understand, don’t listen to reply.
  • Tell the other person something you appreciate about her or him. You may think, for example, that you like someone’s humor or ability to structure things. Thinking alone won’t help you bond with the person. You have to verbally express it.
  • Share about yourself openly. Bonding happens more rapidly by sharing a shortcoming that relates to a person’s challenges than by sharing a success.
  • And most importantly, be yourself. Pretending to be someone else leads to incongruency between words and behaviour and is never a good idea when it comes to creating trust in relationships.

Focus on the other person, not on yourself

  • Suggest ideas on how to help the other person overcome a challenge.
  • Don’t solve problems prematurely, instead allow time to explore the issue in-depth and understand all components.
  • Ask open-ended questions so that the other person gets the chance to express feelings and opinions.
  • And stay relaxed in your mind. The more you focus on yourself, the more your mind chatter will distract you from the other person. Take a deep breath and refocus if you catch yourself getting pulled away by a long chain of thoughts.

These are just a few things you can do to quickly create trust with other people. The most challenging part is, however, to become aware of and change one’s attitude towards trust and other people.

If you find yourself in a place where bonding with work colleagues or your boss has become a real struggle, I invite you to check out our open workshop EQ-Trust-Based Leadership. It is a 1.5 day interactive and fun equine-assisted workshop where you will gain the skills and insights that enable you to improve your relationships and create powerful bonds with people.

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Not sure how to present equine-assisted training to your team members/ colleagues? Download our convenient 3-page PDF guide. An all-you-need-to-know workshop guide for the HR professional or business owner interested in equine-assisted leadership training. 

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