“Trust agents have a desire to connect good people together.” Making connections and gaining people’s trust is the premise of the book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. The authors Chris Brogan and Julien Smith bring together a lot of great ideas that really strike a chord when you read them. I like the authors’ definition of trust: confidence and faith. Most of the ideas in the book are pretty obvious, such as “when you treat people well, they treat you well back.” However, the way Brogan and Smith weave the obvious ideas together is genius.
- Make your own game: There’s an established way to do things and a game changing way to do things. By making your own game and forcing your competitors to keep up, you leave them at a disadvantage at every turn.
- One of Us: Being One of Us is about belonging. Being seen as connected with others is very useful in any people-facing job. If you act like a good citizen, people will trust you.
- The Archimedes Effect: This is about understanding and using leverage. The Web is a great tool for leveraging the power of what you do. Leverage means never having to re-invent the wheel; it never goes out of style.
- Agent Zero: Trust agents are at the center of their networks. They connect people together and use their influence to find resources and complete projects faster. They work in positions that connect internal teams, external colleagues and more. “Have a wide network and you’ll never be in need of work.”
- Human Artist: This is about people skills, it’s about developing understanding of people you interact with. “In social media, human is the new black. People are the next revolution, and being active on the human-faced Web is your company’s best chance to grow its business in the coming years.”
- Build and Army: Leaders aren’t just good at doing their job, they help others grow and organize people’s skills to their command when necessary. Think of the army as a group of people you inspire and lead to do great things together that could not be accomplished otherwise.
Ultimately, to become a trusted “you need to be liked, and you start becoming likable by being worthy of being liked. Be kind. Be patient. Be humble, on time, and generous. Be that person you would like to be friends with. Likability and the related trait, intimacy, is one of the biggest factors in trust, and it’s also one of the easiest to develop with people online.”