What to Do When People Don’t Trust You

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

What to Do When People Don’t Trust You

When resistance comes from Level 3 (I don’t like you) there are a few things this person needs to do:

  1. He or she needs to recognize that resistance to doing a deal (or whatever the work is) is coming from the relationship itself. It might be personal history that leads to that level 3 distrust or suspicion, or it might be a result of who he or she represents. For instance, some departments in organizations have reputations that cause people to hold anyone from that department at arm’s length.
  2. Once these people know why others are resisting them, then they need to actively begin to demonstrate that they are different than the perceptions others have of them. For instance, say Tom has the reputation of over-promising and under-delivering, then he must begin tempering his promises and over-delivering. He needs to defy people’s expectations by providing higher quality than expected. Delivering a service before it is due, etc.
  3. These people need to be available so that others can meet them face-to-face. They need to see that Mary is different than what they thought. Of course, Mary had better come across as trustworthy. And, Mary had not better ask for anything from others during these informal encounters. Going for a sale will simply increases people’s suspicions.

Changing “I don’t like you” beliefs usually doesn’t occur quickly. It takes diligence and a strong intention of improving the working relationship with these other people.

Here are some resources:

Resistance to Change – Why It Matters and What You Can Do About It

A series of blog posts and short articles that include Level 3 issues.

Why Don't You Want What I Want?

Of course all those articles and posts are free. If that’s not enough, then please take a look at my book, Why Don’t You Want What I Want?