“How do I know I can trust you?”
Here’s the short answer: You don’t.
But I guess I should elaborate…
To really answer this question, we have to explore where trust comes from. In other words, what causes you to trust someone or something?
In my opinion, there is really only one thing that leads to trust – and that is experience. But experience comes in two forms. The first is your own personal experience. For example, if some act or action that you have taken or experienced has always led to some positive response, then you will trust that same act or action to lead to that same positive response in the future.
The second type of experience comes in the form of observing experiences that are not necessarily your own. For example, when you collect data about customers, competitors, and your company, you are effectively analyzing trends and looking for patterns that might lead you to draw some logical conclusions about the future. These are not necessarily your own personal experiences, but they are experiences nonetheless. And, similar to your own experiences, when you observe a repeatable trend, you tend to trust that those trends will continue to repeat themselves under the same or similar conditions.
So, if we can agree that trust is based in some type of experience, then it follows that the more experience you incorporate into your strategy, the more you will be able to trust it. What that essentially means is that you need to do your homework, draw upon your own experiences and intuition, and use all of those elements as a basis for your plan.
Once you trust your plan, you need to execute it. And if it goes well, you will trust it even more. And if it doesn’t go so well, you’ll have that much more experience that you can draw upon for future plans.
So, to wrap it all up: experience, execute, repeat. The sum of those three parts will almost always add up to trust.
Listen to the podcast episode
Dear Strategy: Episode 020