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Updated: Aug 9, 2021

You know how we sometimes hear "nothing personal, it's just business" and also "People [not companies] do business only with other People they Like, Respect and Trust" ...

I have been thinking about these two apparently contradictory statements for a while now, done some research and this is what I have come up with.

Recent studies show number of professionals are dissatisfied with their jobs and disengage from their companies as a result; looking for more meaning and recognition for their individual contributions but also for more supportive environments. HR experts have come up with recommendations to tackle talent acquisition, engagement and management - especially at a time when younger generations score high on the "purpose matrix" - globally.

Countless other studies show that People don't purchase services nor products. In fact, they really care about how well those items and solutions address their specific issues and beyond that, how their purchasing decisions make them feel about themselves. People buy into an "augmented" emotional-user-experience and choose brand-names conveying "values" they can identify with - trustworthiness being top of mind. Their choices are based on what they perceive companies and their leaders consistently "stand for" in the market and community. Millennials in particular lead the charge, embracing a paradigm where authenticity and trust (do you walk the talk ?), purpose as well as personalized social interaction and connectivity are essential.

A question I often get from teams starting a business (with no existing story nor track record for that new business) as well as from established groups entering growth phases is : how do we build trust (or grow trust beyond an existing base) and establish personalized relationships with stakeholders - at scale (or scale up) ?.

Perceived trust is a rather relative notion and scaling sounds more like a mass-concept than a personalized one - when you first process the idea. However, branding (and personal branding), story telling and content marketing strategies are common tools of modern marketing regularly used to convey a company's mission and build trust at scale successfully nowadays.

The good news for trustworthy companies and teams is they can work on their modern marketing skills to establish trust and enhance their outreach, over time - the landscape is quite competitive however; so they have to manage to stand out in the "noise". The not so good news is that trust is a choice and takes time to build (or restore/repair) and can't be rushed - why ? : trust is a psychological trait, a pillar in social functioning that comes to bear when we make decisions, interact, relate socially. It is also tightly bound to our self-image, sense of self-worth, security and reciprocity. It operates at its own pace.

In conclusion : Start building trust early and manage it over time. Trust requires intentional continuous efforts and attention and is a critical component in managing any carrer and/or achieving any entrepreneurial goal.

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