10 Seconds to Trustworthiness

When you meet someone for the first time, or are just getting to know someone, they have created an image of you in their mind’s eye about whether you can be trusted or not. Whether it’s a social engagement, casual meeting, job interview, meeting a potential client, sales meeting or a potentially romantic date, you have only 10 seconds to communicate your trustworthiness.

Set the Stage

In setting the stage, you’ve taken into consideration your intention. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” and set your mind on the intended result that will lead to supporting your highest and best as well as that of any person you meet. To communicate trust you must quickly convey you are authentically open and honest, possess humility and are not selfish or conceited.

Being in tune with your intention sets your vibration and being in touch with your vibration will attract others with a similar vibration, or raise the vibration of the person or people that you meet to match your vibration. This is where true communication (or communion) takes place, but you only have 10 seconds to establish tone. Sow set yours in advance and consider also

Accessories and Attire

I know much is said about high fashion accessories and apparel that communicate confidence, compel followers to be attracted to you and increase sales.

This is a sensitive area. While the fashion industry would like you to believe that your expensive watch, designer clothes, shoes and bag will make you the toast of the town, it may also create a negative emotion in someone you might be trying to connect with in an authentic manner.

The higher your intention for connection, the more conservative your appearance (clothing and accessories) should be, if you want to be trusted. Try to match your overall look with the vibration of your intention, especially if you want to seem humble, approachable and trustworthy.

Too much bling is intimidating and may communicate selfishness or arrogance instead of trustworthiness at first blush.

Body Language

Be aware and conscious about how you communicate with your body. There are some things you can do that communicate openness and humility, like keeping your hands in a palms-up open position, keeping your shoulders down in a relaxed position, looking them in the eye but taking breaks so as not to seem like you’re staring them down and maintaining a mildly confident stance (avoid the hand on hips Superman pose).

If appropriate to greet with a handshake, firmly but gently (without a death grip) shake hands in with a vertical hand position, pump two to three times and disengage. Overdoing the handshake can put someone on the defensive.

Without going into detail about body language (which could consume a lifetime of study) avoid any stance, body motion or hand position which may put someone on the defensive if you want people to trust you. Consider being observant about others who do establish rapport and trust easily. You don’t have to hear what they are saying, just watch what they do. Consider video recording yourself. Watching your communication style from outside of your own experience may be an enlightening experience. We all could do better.

Be Attentive

Whatever it is, make it about the other person. Don’t put yourself on display or make this about you. Putting others first is the best way to establish a non-threatening position when making a first impression.

Quickly find something good to say about the person you are approaching (in the first 10 seconds) a genuine, well-intended and honest compliment can help instill camaraderie.

Be complimentary – but don’t overdo it – you want to seem nice, not manipulative.

Even if you’re in a room full of people at a networking event, for the brief moment(s) you are meeting someone, stay focused on him or her. Don’t be looking around the room for your next target, or checking your phone. Listen actively, don’t interrupt or try to show how smart or important you are. Leave them wanting more, save it for a later date.

Be willing to appear confident but honest and vulnerable.

You don’t have much time (10 seconds) to set the tone. If you are really the kind of person who can be trusted, you would like people to know this about you as soon as possible. A little thought and preparation can go a long way in communicating your trustworthiness and hopefully make an impact during your opportunity to leave behind a good first impression.

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