Where Would We Be Without Trust…Where Could We Go if We Had More of it.  

KS113261By Kimberly Gerber

Stop and think about how you go through your day as it relates to trust. You’ll quickly realize that most everything you do and experience is based on trust and being trustworthy.  We trust that other drivers will stay in their lanes, we trust that our cars will work, we trust that the school will teach and protect our children, we trust that our phones, computer and internet will work, and on and on.  When things don’t work, or our expectations are not met, we lose trust.  If these breaches happen often, we make changes to avoid and/or stop the breaches.

It’s the same for our relationships.  If we are trustworthy, we have solid relationships.  If we breach their trust, our friends, colleagues, etc. will go elsewhere.  Therefore, our personal and professional success comes down to building trust.  Below are four elements to building trust.

  1. Integrity – Trusting the character and principles of the person.
  2. Competence – Assessment of the person’s knowledge, skill, experience or authority to do what he/she is promising.
  3. Reliability – Based on experience, our assessment of whether we trust the person to fulfill the commitment they are making.
  4. Benevolence. Our assessment that the person cares enough about us to help, or at least not harm us.

Building trust is a process of extending trust, meaning trusting that someone will do what was committed to.  And protecting trust, which is meeting commitments.

Practice these four elements of trust in your interactions and pay attention to the process of extending and protecting trust and you’ll find that your relationships will become more solid and rewarding.  For a more in-depth look at the elements of trust, please read my “The Currency of Trust:  The Difference between Flourishing and Floundering”article published in Training Industry Magazine.

If trust is an area of opportunity for you, then we invite you to meet with communications experts and learn more about building trust!  There are many ways to connect with us – follow us on Facebook, signup to receive tips, attend our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop, or contact our offices to find out more about how we help successful professionals every day.

Believe It or Not, Success and Happiness Require You to Say “No!”


By Kimberly Gerber

Last week I posted about how to rebuild trust and clarified that, while it’s possible, it’s even better to not put ourselves in the position of losing trust.  So how do we do this?  One way is by keeping healthy promises and learning how to recognize and prioritize the boundaries on our time.  This means saying “no” to the things that we either do not want to do, or that we don’t realistically have the capacity to do.  We put our priorities first, which oftentimes does not leave room for other things.

It sounds easy, but saying “no” can be a challenge.  Many of us struggle with holding boundaries in an attempt to be helpful, show initiative or create harmony.   We don’t want to disappoint others.  But trying to do everything will lead to feeling overworked, resentful, stressed, and/or unfocused.  And, it can keep you from accomplishing what’s most important to you.

The balance between being available for others, and creating healthy and fulfilling lives is a tough one.  And, sometimes we can make it more difficult than it needs to be because we don’t have strong skills in asserting our boundaries by saying “no.”

To help, here are two simple tips that you can use to strengthen your skill in this area and bring some balance back into your life.

  1. Be intentional about what you are saying “yes” to.   Whenever you say “yes” to one thing, you are inadvertently saying “no” to something else.  If someone makes a request, take some time to think through the implications and determine what you want to say “yes” to, and respond with confidence.  If the answer has to be a “no,” then you’ve let the other party know so they can make other plans.   A quick “no” is much better than saying “yes” to something that you can’t do and/or resent doing.
  2. Tell people what you “can” do, then tell them what you can’t do.  This serves to act as balm on a paper cut.  When you bring solutions that solve at least some of the problem, you communicate to the other person that you have been thoughtful and made an attempt to be helpful while still holding your boundary.

Saying “no” can be a challenge – but it doesn’t have to be!  Having clarifying priorities and being realistic about time helps.  If this is an area of opportunity for you, then we invite you to meet with communications experts and learn more about asserting your boundaries for success!  There are many ways to connect with us – follow us on Facebooksignup to receive tips, attend our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop or contact our offices to find out more about how we help successful professionals every day.

You Gotta act Quick, but “Yes,” it is Possible to Rebuild Trust! 


By Kimberly Gerber

We are human after all and sometimes, even with our best intentions, we can fail to meet an obligation, keep a promise, or commit some other breach of trust.   When this happens you should immediately pursue rebuilding trust with integrity and sincerely.  Here are the six crucial steps to follow when doing this:

  1. Act immediately:  The longer you wait, the greater the likelihood the situation becomes irreversible.
  1. Acknowledge.  Accept.  Apologize:  For reconciliation to be credible, it is important that the offending party extend these three actions to the offended party.
  1. Be sincere:  If you are being forced to the table, or have another agenda, your offer will likely be declined.
  1. Provide restitution:  A gesture to commensurate with the offense may reduce resentment.  This often times does not need to be monetary.
  1. Renegotiate expectations:  To avoid further breaches of trust, discuss and even reset expectations that both parties feel comfortable agreeing to.
  1. Reaffirm commitment to the relationship:  Reconfirming your commitment to the person and to the process is an essential ingredient in rebuilding broken trust.

Following these six steps will help to rebuild broken trust.  Keep in mind, however, that an even better solution is to be realistic with expectations so as not to put yourself in situations of having to break a commitment.  This can be difficult to do sometimes, so we’ll talk about this in future posts.

Would you like to meet with communications experts and learn more about building trust and setting realistic expectations?   There are many ways to connect with us – follow us on Facebooksignup to receive tips, attend our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop, or contact our offices to find out more about how we help successful professionals every day.

Don’t be Boring…Be Engaging!


By Kimberly Gerber

Last week we talked about the importance of bragging to get you promoted, selected or elected.  We also mentioned that there was an art to it.   You don’t want to bore your audience…you want to ENGAGE them.  Below are 3 additional tips for graceful self-promotion that will get you noticed and keep your audience engaged.

  1. Be brief, be bright and be gone.  When you want to share some impressive information, think of it as an elevator speech.  You only have a few floors to get your message across.  So, you need to make a brief and confident positive statement and then be quiet.  Don’t go on and on about yourself, or rattle off a list of accomplishments.  This is boring and makes your audience want to flee.
  2. Volley the conversation. Once you’ve shared your information, turn the conversation over to the other person.  This graceful act shows that you are interested in them, and an interesting conversationalist.   It’s also the polite way to communicate.
  3. Change up your repertoire. Keep an updated and current supply of information ready to share.  If you share the same thing too often, or have a very narrow field of topics, you will get boring.  This also applies to the questions you ask.   Change up the questions you ask others to keep your conversations fresh and topical.

Practicing these three techniques when you share positive information will keep others coming to you instead of running from you. If you’d like to meet with communications experts and learn more about how to be engaging, sign up for our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop.