the art of building trust and authority

the art of building trust and authority
Photo by Malte Helmhold / Unsplash

In both our professional and personal lives, the ability to earn trust and cultivate authority is a fundamental key to leadership and success. Whether you find yourself in the role of a team member, manager, parent, aunt, uncle, coach, or volunteer, the principles of becoming a trusted advisor remain universal. This essay explores three essential steps to guide you on the path of building trust and authority in your interactions.

The first step towards becoming a trusted advisor is to truly understand your audience. It's about stepping into their heads and hearts, comprehending their fears, desires, worries, and aspirations. As the famous saying goes, "To be interesting, be interested." By prioritizing understanding before being understood, you create a connection that goes beyond mere communication. This involves empathetically knowing the people you want to influence. In the words of Stephen Covey, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." Connecting on a deeper level sets the foundation for trust and authority.

Speaking in the first person and sharing personal experiences is the second crucial step. When you say, "I know how you feel, I felt the same way," you bridge the gap between yourself and others. This creates a sense of shared humanity and builds a bond based on empathy and authenticity. As Maya Angelou beautifully put it, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." By sharing your journey and lessons learned in a way that resonates with their interests, you demonstrate a genuine commitment to helping and supporting them, thereby earning their trust and authority.

The third step involves bringing simplicity and clarity into people's lives. In the midst of chaos, be the beacon of understanding. Albert Einstein's famous quote, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough," emphasizes the importance of simplifying the complex. As a trusted advisor, your role is to eliminate obscurity and make things easy to understand. This not only facilitates better communication but also enhances trust. When you make it simple, you become a reliable problem solver. In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Strive to simplify and clarify, and people will naturally gravitate towards you as a person of trust.

To summarize, the journey to becoming a trusted advisor involves understanding your audience, speaking from your experience, and bringing simplicity and clarity into their lives. By following these steps, you create meaningful connections, build empathy, and establish yourself as a reliable source of support. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely said, "Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great." In your pursuit of leadership and success, remember that earning trust and cultivating authority is not just a goal—it's a continuous journey.


The Eiffel Tower grows up to 6 inches during summer months due to the thermal expansion of the metal.