The Small but Powerful Changes that Build Trust
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In last week’s article, I shared some insights on building trust from The Trust Mandate, by Herman Brodie and Klaus Harnack. The book is a valuable resource. Its principles are applicable to you and your relationships with prospects and clients. Especially powerful are some small changes you can make to your office and the way you present yourself that will quickly inspire trust.
The oxytocin effect
I was gratified to see my analysis validated by Brodie and Harnack. They note that oxytocin, which is manufactured in the brain and secreted by the pituitary gland, acts to reduce a (very human) wariness of proximity with unknown others. It enhances sociality, cooperation and the sense of affiliation…
Clearly, if you want to facilitate a relationship of trust, triggering an increase in oxytocin in the other person is a powerful beginning.
Maximizing the oxytocin effect
Brodie and Harnack summarize research showing how to trigger the release of oxytocin in others. Here’s a selected list of ways to do that:
Serve hot drinks: It causes others to perceive you as friendlier and more caring.
Lavender: It’s a scent that contributes to interpersonal trust.
Your office: Distinctive workplaces, decoration, quantity of magazines and diversity of books, translated into a perception of “openness.” Orderliness, cleanliness and absence of clutter were perceived as “conscientiousness.”