One thing I have learned over the past 25 years in marketing, advertising and communications is, nothing erodes personal credibility faster than a lack of trust. If you want people to show up daily, and do amazing work, you need to create a culture fueled by trust. As a leader, you must give trust to gain trust!

Building trust is without a doubt, the fundamental way to increase your circle of influence, grow your business and gain more influence and greater success.

“The ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust is the key professional and personal competency of our time.” ~ STEPHEN M.R. COVEY

If you possess the skill to execute a product launch or national advertising campaign, and the will to do so ethically, then others’ trust in you will increase. BUT you must be consistent because once you break that trust it’s like taking a piece of paper, wrinkling it up and then lighting a match to it and watching it go up in flames — it never actually returns to its original state.

In a recent Edelman Trust Barometer article I was reading, several fascinating points jumped out to me:

  1. ‘No nation presents a larger divide than the U.S., with a nearly 20 point gap between the trusting informed public and the distrusting mass population.’
  2. Today it’s not the CEO or a government official who is the most influential or most trusted, but a “person like yourself” or an “average employee.”
  3. The media, the vaunted Fourth Estate in global governance, plunged in trust this year and is distrusted in more than 80 percent of the countries in the Edelman Trust Barometer Study.
  4. In 2017 only 37 percent of the general population say, CEOs are credible, and 29 percent say the same about government officials.
  5. Media declines the most. Media is distrusted in 82 percent of countries. In only five—Singapore, China, India, Indonesia, and the Netherlands—is media trust above 50 percent.

As Edelman puts it, “Inequality of trust and income have important consequences.”

Picture: via 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer – Global 

Without trust, there is no basis for relationships, no shared purpose, no sharing of stories, information or even feelings – thus no room to grow. Without trust in oneself and/or others there is no capacity to change.

Trust is built one way and that’s through direct, consistent, conviction, interaction and faith. Importantly, if we feel trust, we feel emotions associated with trust including: companionship, friendship, love, agreement, relaxation and comfort.

‘Mastering the art of influence is crucial, whether you’re leading a team, pitching a new client, or closing a sale.’ ~ Geoff De Weaver

Additionally, recent studies from Harvard Business School have explored just how an individual’s body language could affect other people’s opinions of that person, and it turns out that these two points is what the research found:

  1. Low-powered body language is normally contracted, with the shoulders rolled and the head down or bowed.
  2. High-powered or confident body language is expansive. The head is held high, the arms are loose, the shoulders are set back and the chest is out. When you manifest powerful body language, you are seen as more influential. Confident body language not only affects the way others see you but also the way you see yourself.

The following points are also critical in developing trust and influence:

  1. Setting Boundaries:You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no.
  2. 100% Reliability:You do what you say you’ll do. You are aware of your competencies and limits. You don’t overpromise and are able to deliver on commitments.
  3. Total Accountability:You own your mistakes, apologize, and make amends.
  4. Secure as a Vault:You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. You don’t share information about other people that should be kept confidential.
  5. Integrity:You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast or easy. You practice your values rather than just professing them.
  6. Non- Judgment:I can ask for what I need and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment. Listening is vital and only becomes more important than ever too.
  7. Generosity:You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words and actions of others.
  8. Challenge People to Grow: Always actively challenging to contribute more, more frequently and serve with even greater excellence and distinction
  9. Help Shape and Teach People to Think: In all cases of trust and influence, you must always be communicating and consistently shaping and influencing people’s thinking by saying things like: “What would happen if…” or “What do you think about…”. Influence means having people trust you to think differently and more openly.
  10. Understand what keeps your clients up at night. Many times over the years, I have had to work with clients globally that were very dissimilar to me, were raised in different cultures, and didn’t necessarily even share the same background, beliefs or priorities as me BUT, if they are data-driven, ‘logic-heads’ who will have financials, market analyses, and a clear answer to the “Why?” question. You will need to seek more and deeper clarity so everything discussed is clear and indisputable.

But if you are a ‘gut-thinker’ who wants to connect ideas with people, all the logic in the world may not sway his/her thinking if the emotional pitch isn’t right. So, understanding what they’re analyzing and how they perceive the world around them is key.

  1. Trust is the new workplace currency. When companies need to ensure growth, innovation and sustainability they need to remember they can no longer treat their employees or clients with just a paycheck or a promise.
  2. 12. Trust doesn’t come with a title. Trust is built through everyday actions – the alignment of what leaders say and what they actually do daily!
  3. Engagement & innovation need trust. Trust doesn’t cause engagement or innovation, but it enables them; an engagement problem is a trust problem.

Conclusion: We aren’t talking about simple charisma when we talk about Trust or Influence. We are talking about being the kind of person or leader who can sit down, engage and get buy-in, who can take the authority of the position and use it to work with others to get things done. Influential and trusted people always handle situations that inspire others and get people to believe in them.

They also serve with integrity, heart, passion and excellence. Finally, if you are also blessed with the spirit of ‘How can I help?’ – you will also gain more trust and influence faster today too!

Finally, It is my promise to help you live leadership, high performance and business success that works in the here-and-now and to empower you to influence people with honor.

A closing thought – people work for people, not for companies or brands. For the people who work for you, trust is about you.


About Geoff De Weaver: 

Since 1985, Geoff has helped pioneer the use of inbound/outbound marketing, content marketing strategies, leadership, digital, PR, innovation and social media marketing specifically for agency new business.

Geoff is one of the Advertising & Digital industry’s leading agency New Business Thought Leaders. His extensive cross-cultural expertise spans five continents, multiple languages and hundreds of companies.

Geoff can also access hard to reach brands and clients, fully examine and target your exact needs and requirements in all channels. I can even pitch on your behalf and happily be the extension to your company’s new business team.

Give me a call and let me show you a better way, +61 411 224 961 or send me an email:


Global Brand Management & Operations, Digital Marketing, Marketing, Advertising, Sales, Training, New Business, Consulting, Management, Leadership Coaching, High Performance, Team Building, Operations, and Ad Agency Growth.



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