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VIDEO: How to build and repair trust

It's the foundation of every relationship we have. When we have it, everything can feel great. When it's chipped or broken, it can alter lives. But how do we achieve trust, and, more importantly, how can we keep it alive in relationships?

Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei recently underwent an assignment to restore trust to the employees of the much-maligned organisation Uber. She revealed what she learned about trust in a public speech, and much of what she says is as pertinent to individuals as it is to corporations. Watch her speech below, or read the highlights of the transcript here...

"There's three things about trust. If you sense that I am being authentic, you are much more likely to trust me. If you sense that I have real rigor in my logic, you are far more likely to trust me. And if you believe that my empathy is directed towards you, you are far more likely to trust me. When all three of these things are working, we have great trust. But if any one of these three gets shaky, if any one of these three wobbles, trust is threatened.

"So the most common wobble is empathy. The most common wobble is that people just don't believe that we're mostly in it for them, and they believe that we're too self-distracted. And it's no wonder. We are all so busy with so many demands on our time, it's easy to crowd out the time and space that empathy requires. 

"So here's the prescription: identify where, when and to whom you are likely to offer your distraction. That should trace pretty perfectly to when, where and to whom you are likely to withhold your empathy. And if in those instances, we can come up with a trigger that gets us to look up, look at the people right in front of us, listen to them, deeply immerse ourselves in their perspectives, then we have a chance of having a sturdy leg of empathy. And if you do nothing else, please put away your cell phone. It is the largest distraction magnet yet to be made, and it is super difficult to create empathy and trust in its presence. That takes care of the empathy wobblers."


"Logic wobbles can come in two forms. It's either the quality of your logic or it's your ability to communicate the logic. Now if the quality of your logic is at risk, I can't really help you with that. But fortunately, it's often the case that our logic is sound, but it's our ability to communicate the logic that is in jeopardy. Super fortunately, there's a very easy fix to this. If we consider that there are two ways to communicate in the world, and the first one is when you take us on a journey, a magnificent journey that has twists and turns and mystery and drama, until you ultimately get to the point, and some of the best communicators in the world communicate just like this. But if you have a logic wobble, this can be super dangerous. So instead, I implore you, start with your point in a crisp half-sentence, and then give your supporting evidence. 

"The third wobble is authenticity, and I find it to be the most vexing. We as a human species can sniff out in a moment, literally in a moment, whether or not someone is being their authentic true self. So in many ways, the prescription is clear. You don't want to have an authenticity wobble? Be you. Great. And that is super easy to do when you're around people who are like you. But if you represent any sort of difference, the prescription to "be you" can be super challenging.

"I have been tempted at every step, tempted personally and tempted by coaching of others, to mute who I am in the world. I'm a woman of super strong opinions, with really deep convictions, direct speech. I have a magnificent wife, and together, we have such crazy ambition. I prefer men's clothes and comfortable shoes. 

"In some contexts, this makes me different. I hope that each person here has the beautiful luxury of representing difference in some context in your life. But with that privilege comes a very sincere temptation to hold back who we are, and if we hold back who we are, we're less likely to be trusted. 

"So here's my advice. Wear whatever makes you feel fabulous. Pay less attention to what you think people want to hear from you and far more attention to what your authentic, awesome self needs to say."


Author: Rebecca

Rebecca lives in London with her husband, daughter and dachshund. She hopes her dating blogs for Flame Introductions will inspire you to seek out the best London and UK locations for brilliant dates, and discover some tips along the way to help you find your perfect partner.