One of the Best Ways to Build Trust in Any Relationship

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Being wrong may be one of the best opportunities to build trust in just about any relationship.

That’s kind of a weird sentence. How can being wrong be an opportunity to build trust? It seems to defy the laws of logic in much the same way that Disney continues to allow Goofy to own Pluto. That’s one dog owning another dog. How does that work?

Let me explain (about the being wrong thing, not Goofy and Pluto. I have no insight into that thought process.)

About a month ago my wife and I bought our first house. Everything about the moving process has gone really well, except for our internet provider. I was literally on the phone for at least one hour a day, every day, for over a week trying to get our internet set up. Finally I gave up and went with another company (because, you know, it’s 2011 and the internet isn’t just a luxury for scientists or Al Gore anymore).

Once our new internet provider was set up, which was super, I had to call our old provider to cancel our services with them. Canceling a service always feels like trying to break-up with your high school girlfriend over the phone to me. I was nervous, but knew what had to be done.

After finally getting through to an actual human being (which took about half an hour) I talked to this really great lady who apologized on behalf of her company. Her willingness to own up to their poor customer service made me to realize a very important truth:

Honesty builds trust like nothing else. 

Our mistakes are not invisible. Nine times out of ten our shortcomings are pretty obvious to the people around us. What isn’t so clear to others is whether or not we know about them.

When we can be transparent enough to admit where we’ve dropped the ball and take responsibility for our actions it shows that we can be honest even when it’s not in our best interest. And the more honest we are the more likely people are to trust us.

Question: What mistake do you need to own-up to this week? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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