The Secret to Good Communication: A Trusted Relationship

Relationships are the heart and soul of communication.

Information is essential, but the way that useful communication happens is through strong and trusting relationships.  Think about it:

  • If confronted with something that challenges your view of the world, who are you going to believe :  a Friend, or a Stranger?
  • If someone were trying to sell you on something that you might be doubtful about, who would you be more likely to buy from:  A Friend, or a Stranger?

The reason you communicate better with your Friends (more frequently, more easily, with more quality) is because you have a better relationship.  The reason you are suspicious of what a Stranger might be trying to sell you is because you have no basis for trusting him or her.  And if you are cautious (or paranoid) in the first place, then you will have even less reason to listen to a stranger.  (Almost all people follow this same pattern, though there are a few contrarians who mis-trust their friends, and trust strangers.  No need to discuss unusual cases now…)

Are you a Friend or a Stranger to your constituents?

Do you have strong relationships, or weak ones with the people that you most need to be able to persuade?

Marketing is the business of building relationships.  Familiarity breeds consistency, which build confidence (a form of trust), which results in purchases.

This axiom is particularly true when the purchaser has inadequate information.  In that sense, it is the trust that one has with the product (service) or paradigm being sold that makes the difference between a purchase and doubtful irrelevancy.

One only has to see the extent to which people are willing to “trust” their favored politician to see the truth of the concept.   Since so few people are economists or even effective at critical thinking, they merely go along with their favored politician (who has worked so well at branding himself or herself as “on your side.”)  This “purchase” by the citizen (not necessarily the voter) of the policies and legislation that the politician favors is often based entirely on the strength of the pseudo-trust that the politician has been able to brand themself with during their tenure in the public sphere.

Back to the point of the post:  If you wish to have good communications, your content is not enough.  You must also have the semblance of a trusting relationship in order to effectively persuade people.

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