10 little known phrases influential people use to immediately gain trust and respect

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Trust is the foundation upon which any successful relationship is based on. Without it, you have nothing to build upon. So how can we assure others that we are deserving of their trust?  Not by words alone, that’s for sure.

Let’s face it. Talk is cheap. It’s action that counts. So to build trust you need to put your money where your mouth is.

You accomplish this by doing what you’ve promised you will do and acting like the person you claim to be. 

Earning people’s trust is crucial for your success in all areas of your life. This is particularly true in the work arena.

In the end, your actions will ultimately determine whether you can earn another person’s trust–or not. But words can, and do, pave your way.

The right words at the right time encourage people to place their trust in you. As a result, they’ll go on to encourage others to give you a chance to prove your mettle to them personally. 

I don’t have to tell you how impactful word-of-mouth votes of confidence can be. 

So, what are some phrases used consistently by an ethical person that inspire people to gravitate toward them and eventually win their trust?

You can start right here with these ten phrases. 

1) “How can I help?”

Offering your assistance is an effective way to let someone know you’re in their corner. Just like you requesting help allows others to see that you value their input and skillset, asking other people if they need a hand helps them see that you’re a person they can count on. 

And since one hand washes the other, helping someone out today makes them more likely to reciprocate in kind when you need assistance.

When you genuinely prioritize helping others, you create a ripple effect that positively impacts your environment.  At work, your team will have your back because they know you have theirs.

Just saying something like, “I understand that this presentation is very important to you. What can I do to help?” helps boost morale.

Just be sure to follow through on your promises, or your words will have the opposite of your desired effect.

2) “How should we proceed?”

It’s always better to ask people questions rather than barking out orders. This is to your advantage, as you gain valuable insight when you ask for someone else’s opinion. 

On the job, this approach to brainstorming is bound to strike the proper chord with your team members. By asking for and welcoming their input, you’re presenting yourself as a leader who appreciates the perspectives of your team and values their feedback.

And when you demonstrate that you trust someone, they’ll be more likely to trust you in return. 

We all know that accomplishing major goals is a group effort. Trustworthy leaders are quick to verbally acknowledge this fact. Developing and nurturing trust is a two-way street. 

However, some people are loath to ask for advice because they’re afraid it will make them seem incompetent. 

Understandable because we all have insecurities, but that fear is almost always misplaced. That’s because people who seek advice are perceived as more on the ball than those who don’t.

So avoid the trap of thinking you have to do it all yourself. Instead, incorporate ways to involve others. Value their input and don’t be afraid to show it. 

In a nutshell, trust people the same way you want them to trust you. 

3) “I’d be happy to”

This phrase conveys both confidence and a readiness to be of assistance. 

Avoid half-hearted or clearly begrudging statements like, “I’m totally swamped, but I’ll try to help,” or, “Maybe … I’ll have to see what I can do.” 

These phrases don’t encourage trust because using words such as ‘try’ and ‘maybe’ points to the possibility of flaking. 

4) “I respect your opinion”

Successful people are quick to use phrases that communicate respect for other people’s ideas and perspectives. 

Showing that you genuinely care about their input makes people feel heard while also opening up the door to additional viewpoints. 

This phrase exhibits your ability to incorporate different ideas and cultivate an environment conducive to mutual respect.

It’s not about across-the-board agreement. It’s about demonstrating that every opinion is welcomed and considered.

5) “I trust you”

Again, if you want to garner trust, you also have to give it. Hyping up someone else’s ideas can help you earn their trust. 

If you’re a leader on the job, your team members will sense that you’ve placed your trust in them, which improves morale and consequently productivity. 

As we’ve established, trust is always a two-way street. By extending it freely to others, they’ll be more inclined to return the favor and place their trust in you. 

6) “I’m all ears”

Telling someone “I’m all ears” demonstrates your stated willingness to listen, but to earn someone’s trust you have to follow through and deliver. 

This statement communicates that you’re committed to listening intently when someone is speaking to you. 

Be conscious of your body language. Make sure you’re conveying the level of engagement you want in the discussion and be sure to acknowledge other people’s ideas. 

And remember to put those handy-dandy active listening skills into practice! 

7) “I couldn’t have done it without your help”

Giving credit where it is due and displaying your heartfelt thanks for the help you received shows the other people involved just how much their contributions are appreciated. 

This is a top-tier method of saying “thank you.” By acknowledging another person’s going above and beyond, you help place them on a pedestal they richly deserve. 

This simple act of acknowledgment is a powerful trust booster.

Nobody likes to work hard and never be appreciated for it. And no one should have to when it’s so simple to show a little genuine gratitude for their efforts. 

By acknowledging other people’s contributions, you are ensuring more positive future relationships by promoting the idea that collaboration is crucial and that those who participate are appreciated.

8) “Oops, my bad”

Your first instinct may be that mistakes can harm your credibility when the truth is that acknowledging your weaknesses actually fosters trust by reinforcing that you’re human. 

We tend to warm up to imperfect people over those who appear too “together.”

People with imperfections are easier to relate to and less intimidating than those who work tirelessly to maintain an air of perfection.

It’s not easy to own your faults at first, but with practice, you can rewire your brain and discard old behaviors that don’t serve you, or anyone else for that matter.

9) “Research indicates that …”

Don’t expect people to just take your word on what you’re saying. Back your assertions up. Show others the specifics of how your proposed course of action has worked in the past. 

Perhaps sharing a client testimonial, letter of recommendation, or your sales figures during that time period?  

Concrete evidence goes a long way to support your message and inspires trust in your ideas. 

10) “I understand” 

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It embodies a sense of compassion, acceptance, and belonging.

One of our most primal needs as humans is to feel heard, understood, and supported. So, genuine empathy coupled with active listening skills are critical to establishing trust in a relationship.

And what two words convey the essence of empathy better than “I understand”? 

You are not alone. Someone “gets” you.

Final thoughts

In the end, just a few simple words is enough to show that you value someone and set the stage for mutual trust.

But it’s your actions that seal the deal. 

Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden lives in a New England forest paradise with her cats, kid, and trusty laptop. She has been writing since age 8 and is such a pack rat she can back that up with physical evidence. Music is her solace and words are her drug, so her house is strewn with records and books. Watch your step.

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