Written by: Ronan Leonard
Hubba Hubba Hubba, Money, Money Money – Who do you trust?
Jack Nicholson, “The Joker” in the Batman film, said this: WHAT DID HE SAY?
The gentleman was handing out free money to Gotham City, and everyone seemed to trust him more than Batman. For a while, he was able to buy trust from the people. But purchasing trust raises an interesting dilemma about trusting in the modern age.
However, trust needs to be more than fancy titles, a big house or the car you drive. In a world where we are overwhelmed with information, we are always looking for easy clues (cognitive ease) if we want to trust people online. Third-party reviews, testimonials and other social proof are often the key factors in making a sale.
There is this online phenomenon where to prove you can get good results; you only need to show how much money you make, not how many people you have actually helped. Having lots of likes or comments is a quick shortcut to being seen as an expert or authority.
That Sinking Feeling
When I was just 23, I landed my dream job working on cruise lines. It wasn’t quite the QE2 but even as a lowly shop assistant it was still a great way to see the world and get paid to travel. Within about six weeks of joining the ship, we were off the coast of South Africa, when a violent storm hit us.
The wind was blowing at 100 mph, and we experienced 25-meter swells. At around 10 p.m., all the lights went out. As we started to help the passengers get into their life jackets and lifeboats, the senior officers and most of the crew abandoned us to our fate.
Not only was the Captain not the last man off, but they left me, the cruise director and a few of the entertainers to man the bridge, load people to lifeboats and winched passengers up into helicopters when they arrived.
I got some great dinner party anecdotes out of it, but the experience also taught me a few great life lessons. The first was that trust needs to be earned not automatically given. It doesn’t matter how much of an expert you are or how many qualifications you have.
Ultimately character is what matters.
I also realized that I have a passion for helping people. I wasn’t expecting the situation, but I didn’t panic and just acted on instinct.
Now I know you can’t always find someone that has a near-death experience or has done something extraordinary, but you can be a little more skeptical and questioning when you are giving your trust to someone.
Despite everything that happened to me, I’m still able to trust people. But now it has to be earned.
When I run my Mastermind groups, I see that people slowly build up trust. Once they have this, they are willing to be open, honest and vulnerable. In the digital age, everyone is promoting a “highlights” reel of their best self.
Who can you believe because the reality is often something completely different?
With the booming gig economy, it is more important than ever to find your tribe and surround yourself with people you can trust. Engage with people that will encourage you, advocate for you but will also give you some tough love and kick your butt when you need it.
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