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Who Do You Trust ?

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August 13, 2019

Skydiving, hand-gliding, or iFly’s simulated experience will make anyone think long and hard about that question.  Even re-watching the Disney classic as an adult makes me wonder, would I really trust a flying kid and a glowing pixie with sparkly gold dust?

By now, you might have realized that music, TV shows, movies and LOL GIF references are my favourite way to introduce the question du jour.   (if this is your first blog post, skip down a few lines and this will all make sense).  The theory behind this practice is that shared experience or a sense of common ground creates a foundation for trust.  Absent some comic relief or the injection of whimsy a clip from Peter Pan provides, most new ideas are met with a healthy degree of skepticism. 

That’s why this week, we’re asking: how do we build trust?  

Trust is tricky concept, and while the dictionary defines it as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something” our subjective experience create varied interpretation.  We’ve taken the liberty of creating a helpful acronym

Time to Rely

Good things come to those who wait.  And  trust is no exception.   It’s why  92% of customers trust recommendations from friends and family who hold higher trust quotient than traditional advertising.  The strength of relationships developed over time correlates with the likelihood of one’s motivation to rely on opinion over personal experience. 

In the age of affiliate algorithms driven by your associates and friends, these IRL recommendation can seal the deal.  Companies that recognize this behavioral norm can focus on diligently delivering high quality in every circumstance in full awareness of the six degrees of separation effect.  There’s simply no replacement for  consistency over time. 

Understand what’s Significant

Ever tried to meet someone in a crowed location? Like the dreaded ticket exchange at a Miami HEAT or Dolphins game with your chronically late friend.  You might think the most effective way to avoid running circles around each other is to pick a common landmark, like the section number or a vendor (dipping dots is my fav!).  However, confusion ensues when you both are looking at the same thing, but from different vantage points. 

Understanding your audience is a similar experience.  What is of value or consequence to the creator may differ from what matters to the consumer.  Thus, trust requires a degree of mutuality — a meeting of the minds or mutual understanding of what’s significant from both perspectives.  Thus, trustworthy brands and products speak not only to utility or solution, but also to why the problem matters in the first place.


Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  At least that what we swear to do in court or if we abide by Benjamin Franklin’s advice that honesty is always the best policy.  Yet, when it comes to business settings, radical transparency is hardly the norm.    Though research shows, 60% of adults lie at least once within a 10-minute conversation, David Shulman, author of From Hire to Liar: The Role of Deception in the Workplaceexplains “lying is a tool people can use when they don’t have the power otherwise to fix a situation to their liking.”

Source: SimplyHired

A zero tolerance approach to lying or a “zipper down” disclosure policy enhances team morale. And, these truth conscious practices also decrease discomfort around difficult conversations both inside and outside the workplace. 

Ultimately, when seeking to build trust, remember that is the perfect Time to Rely on Understanding what’s Significant (with Transparency).


Leigh-Ann Buchanan / Venture Cafe Miami

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