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In today’s hyper-connected and transparent marketplace, brands and products arrive and depart at hypersonic speeds.
According to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, For the first time, trust and transparency are just as important to a company’s reputation as the quality of their products and services. In U.S.A., these two elements stand even higher than product quality.
Cautious of fraud, scams, and scheming marketing tactics, customers are beginning to perceive the world defined by genuine or contrived. More often than not, they’re basing their buying decisions on how authentic they judge an offer to be.
Unfortunately though, many companies don’t practice trustworthiness and credibility. Alternatively, they attempt to grow their firms based what they believe customers want to hear.
But listening to prospects and customers and mindlessly responding back what they state isn’t going to earn trust or relationship capital from the customer. It is not about deceiving people with amazing commitments. Rather, it is about courageously proclaiming what you believe, and then withdrawing to observe who is attracted to your idea.
Credible brands are able to earn a loyal following; a social community, so to speak. Happy customers will share their experiences with peers and friends, and if the company stays true to its messaging and continues to deliver products and/or service that are in alignment with the customers’ hopes, it will be on the path toward building a relationship capital brand built for the long-run.
If you’re thinking of elevating your organizational culture, launching a startup or developing a brand, think of the 4 attributes of earning Relationship Capital (RC):
Take the Free Relationship Capital (RC) Test. I welcome you to take this assessment in confidence as we never share this information outside Standard of Trust.
5 Steps For Building Trust And Credibility
The following steps are by no means the only ways to build trust, credibility, and relationship capital, but they are the most important.
1. Define Your Purpose and Guiding Principles
The first step is to determine what your credibility is composed of. You will need to choose which guiding principles you are willing to commit to no matter what. If you commit to the open standard principles of Relationship Capital (RC), they are the following:
Your ability to embed this relationship capital guiding principles into your company’s purpose will be an effective way in earning and building relationship capital with your stakeholders that will sustain long-term distinction.
For example, the Purpose of the Standard of Trust Group is:
To make a difference to business organizations and their stakeholder relationships through the capture, measurement, and utilization of open standards of relationship capital. To assist business leaders and their organizations to compete by out-behaving the competition.
Let me “Warn” you. Do not make superficial commitments to the relationship capital guiding principles or other principles you may select. Inauthentic behavior will be found out by the social and digitally connected tribe and your reputation and credibility will be damaged
2. Determine How You Will Demonstrate Authenticity
Look for the moments to demonstrate your authenticity. Whether it’s online with social media or your LinkedIn blog, or in offline interactions with others, take the time to learn and understand your audience and permit to learn and understand you too.
3. Be Open
How far would you go to show your authenticity and credibility? Decide how you will demonstrate your guiding principles and how open you want to be. Then make a plan of action for showcasing this openness.
4. Be Consistent
Keep your communications consistent. The messages that you’re sending out through marketing, promotions and social media should be in alignment with the offline experience that you provide to customers.
5. Prepare For Resistance
Finally, get ready for the resistance. When you build a certain level of awareness, you’re going to get people who oppose. Don’t let this dishearten you or sidetrack you from your guiding principles and purpose. Stay committed to your principles, and you will earn respect (and relationship capital) from the people around you. Your loyal and customers, employees, partners, and brand ambassadors will defend and support you.
Whether a business leader, entrepreneur or startup, committing your authentic self is about being true to your guiding principles and fulfilling your stated commitments to your stakeholders (customers, employees, or partners).
Leading with authenticity is not for everyone, but those who decide to utilize this as the foundation for establishing or nurturing a relationship capital business or a relationship capital brand will learn that building a company based on purpose, performance, and relationship capital will provide sustainability despite the accelerating changes that may come in the future.
By Robert Peters
Sources: Standard of Trust: Leadership
According to Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, “Really great people make you feel that you too, can become great.” This well-kept secret is the key concept of effective leadership and team management. Bringing the best out of others through inspirational leadership, team building, and effective communication will catapult you to the ranks of history’s greatest leaders.
Invest in your team members and they will in turn invest in your company. Inspirational leadership is inspiring your team members through active engagement by helping them to connect the dots between the work they do and the mission of the organization or company for which you work for. By bridging the gap for employees, you help them understand where they fit in the company and how that company fits into the outside world. Helping employees understand where they fit into the company is only half of the battle. An inspirational leader must also lead by example, exemplifying high character, moral and ethics in both a professional and personal setting.
Teams are often a representative of their manager and building a team in your image is critical to the success of a group. Of course this concept only works when the manager is a positive representative for the team and leads by example. Team building is imperative and gives employees the opportunity to get to know their manager and vice versa. Team building activities should include the entire group and be led by a committee of team members chosen by the manager. The key to the team builder is to get your team involved in the planning and the implementation of the event. Putting individuals into leadership roles among the team through the delegation of activities empowers them and gives them the desire to perform at a higher level. Team builders are not only engaging for team members but it also improves communication among the group.
Effective communication can be summed up in two simple words- active listening. Often times leaders fail to listen to the needs of those that look up to them and as a result their employees eventually tune them out. Listening to the needs of your employees will help you to determine their needs and what motivates them to perform at a high level. The top Fortune 100 companies understand the importance of investing in their leaders and implore training tailored to the vision and values of the organization. The relationship is often reciprocal in that the company that invest in the leader will in turn invest in his staff that benefits the organization and the community in which they service.