Start with Trust

I’m a fan of Better Business Bureau, partly because I completely agree with their tagline, “It starts with trust.” They do good work resolving conflicts and providing ratings that can confirm that a business is trustworthy.

Beyond ratings on BBB or Google or other directories, though, how do we know whether to trust someone?
It’s a lot faster than you might think – when we come in contact with another human, we make a “friend or foe” / trust or distrust / like-me or not-like-me decision in .07 seconds, per Judith Glaser’s Conversational Intelligence research.

That is literally faster than you blink!

The part of our brain that makes that identification is the amydala and a few related regions, which identify threat / danger very quickly indeed – even when they get it wrong. Think of RBF (“Resting Bitch Face” when someone’s default expression looks cross) – seeing this in a stranger, you might have an immediate reaction that gets in the way of realizing who this person really is, or what their intentions are.

Recognizing what your own brain’s doing is step 1 in establishing trust. When you’re starting a conversation and you can observe your own reactions, as information, non-judgmentally, you can derail the negative reaction to get down to business – with trust.

The next task is to establish commonality – figuring out what you have in common with another is actually a fun activity, that uses parts of the brain that are rewarding. It feels good as an exercise to try to find 3 non-obvious things you have in common with someone you’re just meeting, and gets things off to a very good start.

And then the next task is to try to raise the level of the conversation – but how to do that will come in another blog.

There will be a “Lunch & Learn” on 9/27, starting at 11:30 at Better Business Bureau, where these things and more will be practiced in a highly interactive session called “More Intelligent Conversations” It’s a brief introduction to how Conversational Intelligence can help your business and more – with greater engagement, more productive conversations, reduced conflict, and greater creativity and intelligence.
You can register here



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