A few weeks ago I was reading Platform by Michael Hyatt and came across this great quote on building trust:
“People will only trust you if you are willing to pull back the curtain of your life and give them a peek inside. Of course, this is helpful in every form of communication. It connects people in a powerful way. But it is essential with blogging and tweeting. You must be willing to share yourself.” – pg 82
Hyatt highlights an important truth in building trust with people, both online and offline. It can sum it up like this:
People can’t trust you till you act like you.
Most people try to put the best version of themselves out there. Social Media has made faking easier than ever. It’s simple, and somewhat ego-boosting, to post pictures of your family when they’re happy and having fun. Or only share stories where you look awesome.
And while I love to see pictures of friends’ family happy and health on Instagram, those aren’t always the things I’m drawn to.
The most memorable pictures are the ones where people post when their dishwasher busted and flooded their kitchen. Or their 3-year-old’s art project exploded all over their new dress.
The stories I find myself drawn to most days are stories of failure. When someone blew up at their spouse or a co-worker and had to go back to them, own their stuff, and what they learned about themselves in the process.
Or the mom whose trying to figure out how to be a great employee without making her kids hate her.
Or the pastor who loves God and his church but sometimes wishes he worked a 9 to 5 because they don’t call you at midnight when Johnson’s kids run away because he’s been cheating on their mom again.
Those are the kind of stories I connect with and I bet you do to.
Because they’re real. There’s nothing polished about potty training or a fight with your spouse or when you lose your job. When someone can be that authentic (not all the time, because that’s emotional vomiting and nobody likes to be vomited on) we feel OK to be authentic back. And when we’re all authentic, trust builds because we know no one’s holding back.
But that doesn’t happen when we always fake it till we make it.
People trust people who are themselves.
Most people are just waiting for someone to go first. Why not be that person? They’re the heroes we all hope show up and can’t wait till they come back.