You can’t be everything to everyone,
but you can be something great for someone.
Although I only play miniature golf I had the privilege to speak at the Titleist Performance World Golf Summit. I spoke on how coaches, trainers and teachers can create trust between themselves and their clients.
I explained that no matter what your field trust springs up when your client believes that you “see” and understand them.
In my talk I highlighted the basic communication skills that go into creating trust: listening, managing emotions, understanding your biases and using well-chosen words.
Since that talk, I’ve recognized a marked difference between those who are able to create a trusting relationship and those who seem robotic. Yes, clearly there’s a difference in communication skills BUT there’s also that “something else.”
I’m now convinced that the “something else” hovers around whether the coach, teacher, healer (substitute “manager” or “leader”) trusts their own individual self – trusts not just their professional skill set, but trusts their own person and their ability to enter into a relationship with others.
In order to establish trust with your client you need to trust your own self.
What does it mean to trust your own self?
While it’s about being “confident”, it’s about more than confidence. When you trust your self certain observable things happen – or at least, you’re willing to let happen.
Trusting yourself means that you –
- Believe what you’re doing is worthwhile and you’re committed to the job. Golf legend Scott Foley said it best: “I’m here to touch the individual lives of the people that I work with. I was raised on the idea that when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night the goal is to leave the world in a better place than you found it.”
- Readily and willingly make yourself vulnerable and are not easily embarrassed.
- Experience empathy for what your client is feeling, thinking.
- Respect failure and mistakes and so are patient because you know the process demands it.
- Convey knowledge and competency with a non-arrogant alertness so that a potential problem is addressed with, “here’s how we’ll handle it.”
- Telegraph joy in what you’re doing through a palpable sense of liveliness, exchange and laughter.
- Focus on the client and are not self-absorbed because the on-going dynamic of the relationship is paramount.
- Understand the inherent power of story – realizing that a command of facts alone doesn’t generate trust.
- Go about your business rooted in the belief that the ultimate goal is to hear a client say, “I hadn’t thought of that before.” It’s all about discovery.
- Are grateful – for the skill, the client, the opportunity. Everything rests on this. Seriously, have you ever met an ingrate you trusted? How can there be trust without gratitude?
I think these ten traits flow from being able to answer the most basic and simple of questions: “Who do I want to be?”
Answer that question and you will inevitably come to trust yourself – and so create a trusting relationship with your clients.
A recent client of mine told me that he wants to be known for five characteristics: Intriguing / interesting / powerful / knowledgeable / humble.
He believes that he is these words and also that he can become “more” of these words.
I’ve been working with him only a short while but I can see how those words mark him and why his business practice is getting noticed.
The truest of truths is that people will most trust you when you trust yourself.
Why? Because the more you trust yourself, the more you’ll –
- trust your client
- trust the process of the relationship
- help the client trust him / her self
Trust is a circular experience.
A client or colleague trusts you when they believe you “see” them.
You can only see them when you see and trust yourself.
The more you trust yourself, the more you can help your client trust his or her own self.
Help a client trust their own self and they will come to believe that they can “do it” – whatever skill that “it” might be.
Ultimately, the circle of trust begins with you.
There’s no magic to any of this, though when trust happens, it can be magical.
Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?
To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,
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