"Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships."
--- Stephen Covey
Haven't we all been ripped off in some way in the course of our business? When it happens, it steals a little bit more of trust one has in mankind. It shakes, even just a little, the foundation of trust we are trying to build our business upon. When someone we trusted does something or says something to betray that trust, it stings. It tends to sour the relationship and causes us to be more careful in the future. In other words, a little less trusting.
But it shouldn't be that way. We should not let the person or people who broke the trust we had taint it for every other relationship we enter. Of course, it is good not to go blindly into a business relationship and allow others to take advantage of us. As evangelist Ravi Zacharias says, "Discrimination is a good thing. We need to discriminate. When I cross the street, it is either me or the bus."
"This world of ours...must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect."
--- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Our business should be built upon trust. Our team members should trust when we schedule a project, the parameters around the job. They should trust they will get paid for said job. Our customers should trust that we will complete the project when we say we will. Our vendors should trust that we will pay them for the products and services they provide, and so on.
"I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don't trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it."
--- Charles Dickens
The first step in getting others to trust us and to feel that we can trust them, is to be completely honest in all business dealings. This seems obvious enough, but unfortunately, too many people today are not striving to be honest in all of their transactions. It is becoming more and more acceptable to not keep one's word. A returned phone call or correspondence gets pushed further back, a job candidate never hears back about the position, a customer waits several days past the date given for the start of a project. All of these tend to lower the trust factor in the relationship.
"Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters."
--- Albert Einstein
When the vein of honesty forms the footers for a business, it permeates through every team member, every customer, every vendor and anyone associated with that business. It all begins with establishing that the business is built on trust. It is announcing to the inner circle, "We draw the trust line in the sand here and no one in our business will ever cross it!" This kind of business will never have to advertise that you can trust us, the trust is already there and is seen in the smallest of transactions.
"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer."
--- Corrie Ten Boom
When the trust factor is established, the reputation takes care of itself. People just know. They don't worry about getting ripped off or shoddy work or price-gouging. They simply relax in knowing that the business is honest and reliable. They can be trusted.
Lean Thinking: Benefiting from Your Most Important Resource
By John Compton
Digital presses, workflow software, high-speed finishing equipment, UV ink, new substrates...These are just a few of the topics and products I see in the various print industry trade journals that find their way to my inbox each month.
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On an auto shop in Maine:
"Our motto is to give our customers the lowest possible prices and workmanship"
Sign at a beach:
"The shark prevention net was dismantled for maintenance on 1 November 2004. We apologize for any inconvenience caused"
Electrician's truck in Durant, OK:
"Nothing we do will shock you!"
We need those funny signs you have seen in your travels, come on, we know they are out there. Send them to us at: email@example.com.