When Building Trust Gets Tough

To build trust you have to communicate effectively and take appropriate action.  But what happens when communication doesn’t go smoothly.  How can you get back on track and stay there?  These steps will help you do just that:

1.    Keep a clear mental picture of your desired outcome even if the other person becomes emotional.  This will help you steer the conversation towards a solution and stay away from things that cannot be resolved, like events that happened in the past, or things that neither of you have any control over.

2.    Break the desired outcome into chunks and aim to achieve agreement on each of them, one at a time.  This helps build a sense of accomplishment and forward movement.  One agreement per conversation may be all that is possible.

3.    Keep your eye out for flooding (feeling overwhelmed) in you or the other person and take as many breaks as necessary to let feelings cool down and to refocus.

4.    Verbally recognize even the smallest agreements and thank the other person for his/her participation in coming to them.

5.    At the end of the discussion, ask the other person what he or she thought worked well during the experience.  This feedback is invaluable and will give you great insight into how to approach the next conversation.

Stay focused, break it down, recognize and reward even small accomplishments, and learn as you go.  Do this and you’ll be ahead of most people when it comes to building trust and having the ability to create amazing relationships.

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