Why should someone trust you? That is an important question. Once you let someone down, they may never completely trust you again.
In college and throughout the rest of your life, the people around you will listen to your words and observe your behaviors. The accumulated information becomes your reputation. Based on their experiences, your friends, acquaintances and coworkers will put you into a category – Always Trustworthy, Sometimes Trustworthy or Not Trustworthy.
“If you find that you can’t trust someone in one situation, how can you trust that person in any situation?”
In reality, we make “trust” judgments about people all of the time. They make the same judgments about us. Since you are only considered to be trustworthy when your words and behavior can be counted on, you can determine how trustworthy you are by asking yourself the following questions:
1. Do you keep your word and honor your promises?
2. Are you there for your friends when they need you?
3. Do you tell the truth?
4. Do you treat people fairly and with respect?
5. Will you help your friends even when it is inconvenient for you?
6. Can your friends count on you to keep a secret?
7. When you receive confidential information, do you keep it confidential?
8. Do you meet or beat time deadlines?
9. Do you pay off your debts and fulfill your obligations in a timely manner?
10. Do you admit your mistakes, take responsibility for them, accept the consequences and try to correct any damage that was done?
11. When you say “trust me,” do you make certain that the outcome is exactly what you promised?
12. Do you do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it?
13. Do your friends believe the things you tell them?
14. Do friends often rely on you for help?
15. Are you known for your predictably good performance?
16. When you are involved, do your friends have high expectations for the results?
17. When the outcome is important, do others count on you to get the job done?
18. Are you known for being on time and completely reliable?
19. Do you perform at the highest level, even when nobody is watching?
20. Do your friends believe that you will never let them down or disappoint them?
When you are known for these behaviors, you are considered to be trustworthy. Question: How do you stack up? If you assign five points for each “yes” answer, you will get a pretty good idea of just how trustworthy you are.
Tougher Standard: Go back and insert the word “always” into each question and answer them again. For many people, that single word will have a dramatic effect on their results.
Being trustworthy is not something you can do once in a while or when you feel like it. When people cannot predict your behavior, you are not trustworthy. That inconsistency harms your reputation, your friendships and your chances for success on the job.
When recent college grads lie, cheat, steal, take advantage of others and put themselves first, they will never find lasting success in any career endeavor. Unethical, inconsiderate, manipulative and insincere words and actions will always diminish your reputation and hurt your relationships. However, when you are completely trustworthy, others will support your goals, be there for you and celebrate your successes. Should others put their trust in you?
Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of five books, including: A Successful Senior Year Job Search Begins In The Freshman Year. Known as The “College & Career Success” Coach, Bob writes articles for College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has created The Job Search Preparation System™ for colleges to use to help students find greater success in the job market.