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Planting a Seed of Trust in 10 Seconds

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP

Last summer I attended a “Speed Networking” event at my local Chamber of Commerce. It was one of those affairs where you meet a series of new people but only get to talk with each one for three minutes.  I met over 20 people that morning and paid attention to how well they did at making a first impression of being trustworthy.  Most people did OK, but there was one young man who I thought totally blew everyone else away with his ability to connect with me instantly.

By his body language, he was able to convey that he was totally interested in meeting me in a way the others were unable to do.  It was like the way a puppy can look at you and compel you to take him home.  At the moment we met, this young man let me know I was the most important person in the world to him at that time.

Before we even shook hands he had me convinced that he was special. When we did shake hands instead of saying how nice it was to meet him, I said “Congratulations! You are going to be a very wealthy man.” He had an amazing gift of connecting and planting a seed of trust in just a few seconds.

In his book, “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell described how human beings have an amazing ability to size each other up in a heartbeat. Malcolm called the phenomenon “thin slices,” for the ability to gather huge amounts of data about another person in a second. He suggested we make a first impression in about three seconds.  I say we can stretch it out all the way to 10 seconds, but the exact duration isn’t important.

The point is that we can form a relationship that can point toward trust with another person in a remarkably short time. Anyone can learn how to plant a seed of trust when first meeting people, and it will result in their relationship progressing at 10 times the rate that it otherwise would.

Today, as you meet new people, pay attention to their body language. For example, eye contact is extremely important, even before the handshake. Make sure you show them how important they are and how anxious you are to meet them.  Your posture is also important to send the message of a sincere individual. A slight head tilt is often a good sign because it can indicate a desire to listen carefully. Good posture also shows respect for the other individual.  The magic is in the body language and what is going on in your subconscious mind. What you are thinking comes through automatically on the inaudible channel.

You can plant seeds of trust with people very quickly once you learn to project the right attitude. Trust comes from the heart, and people often have the ability to read what is going on in your mind. I believe the first 10 seconds when meeting someone new can be golden opportunity if handled well. This concept can have a huge impact on your success in life because your relationships will progress much faster toward mature trusting relationships.

Planting a Seed of Trust in 10 Seconds (.pdf 100K)

Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is author of: Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational ChangeThe Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals,  Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob had many years of experience as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations. Bob Whipple is currently CEO of Leadergrow, Inc., an organization dedicated to growing leaders.  For more information or to bring Bob in to speak at your next event, contact him by email, phone 585-392-7763, fill in the contact form on the Leadergrow Website, or BLOG.

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