Urban Development

5 Steps For Building Trust And Credibility

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.

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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):

•Character
•Competence
•Good Intent
•Proactivity

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:
•Honesty
•Accountability
•Responsibility
•Support
•Respect
•Trustworthiness
•Emotional Boundaries

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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.

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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.

Conclusion

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

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10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your main idea

TED Blog

When your slides rock, your whole presentation pops to life. At TED2014, David Epstein created a clean, informative slide deck to support his talk on the changing bodies of athletes. Photo: James Duncan Davidson/TED

Aaron Weyenberg is the master of slide decks. Our UX Lead creates Keynote presentations that are both slick and charming—the kind that pull you in and keep you captivated, but in an understated way that helps you focus on what’s actually being said. He does this for his own presentations and for lots of other folks in the office. Yes, his coworkers ask him to design their slides, because he’s just that good.

We asked Aaron to bottle his Keynote mojo so that others could benefit from it. Here, 10 tips for making an effective slide deck, split into two parts: the big, overarching goals, and the little tips and tricks that make your presentation…

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How to Get What You Want at Work

TIME

Getting what you want is often exceedingly difficult. Everyone knows what it’s like to want something: a promotion at work, a date with your crush, an extension on That Impossible Problem Set, an expedited premiere date for Season 6 of Game of Thrones. But when it comes to actually asking for the things we desire, most of us hit a wall. We tend to succumb to stress, nerves, anxiety, or some terrifying combination of all three, in fear of being labeled as overly pushy or too demanding.

Asking for what you want is a crucial part of life, and the more you practice, the easier it becomes.

How to ask for what you want — and get it

According to Dan Johnston, the 25-year-old co-founder of online tutoring company InstaEDU, the most important element in successfully getting what you want is how you frame the question.

“Typically, you think…

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What to Know Before Choosing a Photo for Your LinkedIn Profile

TIME

Choosing the right LinkedIn photo is no easy feat: you can’t just upload your latest selfie and expect to score your dream job. The snapshot should be professional, and show prospective employers that you’re the perfect person for a role without looking too staged or cheesy. Choosing an exemplary photo just got more involved: new research suggests looking at least a “little” happy in your picture will make you appear more trustworthy to prospective employers.

So what does a “little” happy mean, as opposed to just, um, regular happy?

Through a series of experiments, researchers at New York University found that people who weren’t overtly smiling or laughing like hyenas in their pic, but rather adopting a positive, upward-curving expression (upturned eyebrows included) seemed like more reliable candidates. And on the other end, if you sport a down-turned expression, or look more hardened in your photo, you are more likely…

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Urban Ecology Center- Riverside Park

Image I am always amazed when I find new and exciting places to visit here in Milwaukee Wisconsin, and Urban Ecology Center’s Riverside Park is one of those places. Made of 76% recycled material, the Urban Ecology Center “Green” building boast that it using rain water for all restroom purposes and is not connected to the Lake Michigan water filtration system, saving thousands of dollars a year. On the roof are solar panels that produce enough energy to sustain it for the summer months and get a rebate from Wisconsin Electric Energies (WE Energies). The hardwood maple floor is over 100 years old and was donated after the demolition of a nearby elementary school gym. The wraparound porch is made entirely of wood scraps of trees from Africa from the construction of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Although the building is amazing, the best feature of the Urban Ecology Center is its people.

Led by the unassuming Executive Director, Ken Leinbach, the Urban Ecology Center has grown year after year as one of the key organizations designed to connect urban areas with the beauty of the outdoors. In just 10 years the organization has grown from a $50,000.00 annual budget to over $3 million dollars as of the 2011. To ensure that all of the employees of the Urban Ecology Center share the vision of the organization, they are required to go on a 3 day camping retreat with no access to technology while being immersed in nature. This helps drive the purpose of the mission and the importance of what they look to accomplish; improving the relationship between nature and the urban community while promoting green energy alternatives.

If you are interested in learning more about what the Urban Ecology Center has to offer, please visit their website at: http://urbanecologycenter.org/ for more information.