Build trust the American way

How to build a trusting relationship with Americans?

If there is mutual trust you can both feel safe enough to exchange, to collaborate, to come up with solutions and make a profit. How to build a trusting relationship with Americans? Don’t do it the Dutch way or the German or French or Finnish way. Do it their way. Most Americans are more likely to trust you if you first portray yourself in a positive light before talking about anything else. Their way of thinking is: how can I trust you if you don’t position yourself and therefore appear uncertain?

Here are a few steps and preconditions:

1.     Understand what they think is important by finding out what their most important values are. Consider temporarily adapting to that during conversations while respecting them and yourself. Or at least be aware of their different values, so you can interpret their words and actions as it is intended.

a.     Know how they prefer to communicate. For example, the way they give feedback. How they wrap up their messages. Their need for positivity and positive messages. Make suggestions, not advice.

b.     Understand their decision-making process. The fact that they can “backtrack” on decisions as you may interpret it. Be aware when their decision is a final decision (and not an interim decision) and when you need to take action.

c.     Show that you believe in yourself. How can they trust you if you don’t show that you trust yourself?

d.     Show that you are on top of the situation. Show actions, results or intermediate outcomes.

e.     Be active. Show eagerness and willingness. Many Americans start and solve what they encounter halfway down the road. They are optimistic, adventures, solve problems, are flexible and can act quickly.

All these aspects help you to be more approachable to them and to build a trusting relationship with Americans.

2.     Listen to their needs, ideas and solutions.

a.     Ask open-ended questions. To help them think deeper to find better answers and solutions. If you first listen to them in silence without opinion or value judgment, they are more willing to listen to you too.

b.     Don’t ask critical, analytical and direct questions in the first conversations. They will be shocked if you do.

c.     Examine and challenge your assumptions about them. Ask yourself: is this really true? Can I be 100% sure about this? Replace the negative ones with neutral and positive ones. Look for their qualities and goodness and mention them out loud.

All of these aspects help you to truly connect on a deeper level.

 3.     Understand how to open them up, inspire and convince them. Know how to open them up to you and your ideas and solutions. Understand how to inform, inspire and convince them with room for their input, but also room for your input. I have two checklists available for you on how to do that.

It will help you to be considered more trustworthy.

 4.     Bring in your ideas and solutions with customized messages. If you understand their background, their values, their needs, ideas, and you understand their preferred way of communicating, then you’ll know how to properly bring in your ideas and solutions.

They are more likely to trust your expertise. When you understand them better, you will appreciate their strengths and be more likely to trust their input and expertise, leading to better joint decisions and solutions for the customers. The results will be satisfied customers and higher profits.

For more information on how to inspire and convince Americans: If you would like to talk more about this, please contact me, and I will make sure I get back to you quickly with answers.

What are you already doing to build a good trusting relationship? I would love to find out more.

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