How Our Brains Decide When to Trust

02nd September / Mindset
Learn how our brains decide when to trust and what this means for your business meetings and business decisions.

Striking a business deal can come down to many things. You need to offer agreeable terms and mutual benefits, but you always need to build trust. Trust is essential for any business owner who plans on expanding and growing. New customers need to trust your services or your brand, and potential business partners need to trust that you can deliver what you say you can. So, how do our brains build trust and how can we as businesspeople use this knowledge to our advantage?

 

The Immediate Problem

One problem with trust is that we cannot even trust our brains. Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman wrote a book on the topic called ‘Thinking Fast Thinking Slow’. It illustrates how our mind has two systems. One system is bases on intuition and the other is slower and more considerate. The problem? The second system is a massive couch potato and our intuitive system is not always so good.

For example, if I told you a bat and a ball cost £1.10 and also told you the bat cost £1 more than the ball, most people intuitively assume the ball alone will cost 10p (it’s actually 5p). What does this have to do with trust? Well, a lot of the time, trust comes intuitively but psychological research suggests we should be more cautious when trusting our gut feeling.

So, What Makes Us trust?

Published researchlooking into what makes our brains trust other people has found that the process is hardwired. As a species, we tend to want to work together and are therefore very open to trusting other people and groups. Most entrepreneurs then have the perfect canvas to build trust from and seal business deals. Building trust can be achieved in lots of ways, including:

 

  • Reciprocate trust– if you adopt a mindset that you can trust other people, those people are more likely to reciprocate your trusting actions and deliver as expected.
  • Mutual benefits are key– trust is more likely to be established and maintained if both parties have something to gain from a deal. Make sure you genuinely want the other person to succeed as well.
  • Be honest– if you are honest about something during negotiations and come up with ways around the issue, they are more likely to trust the other things you said.
  • Use Names– using the other person’s name has been shown to build rapport and trust.

 

Other people may be hardwired to trust you from the beginning – and vice versa – but you should always build on this with the above techniques.

 

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