Like you, I’ve been pondering who to vote for in this year’s election. It’s not that I can’t choose between two parties, it’s more of an issue about whether I trust politicians in general. Since the financial crash, the coalition government, expenses scandal and various other fiascos, I’ve become disillusioned with it all.
In Gavin Hewitt’s BBC article titled ‘Voters' trust remains elusive’, his opening line is “Rarely has such political energy been expended to such little effect…”. They have lost the public’s trust and this seems to be down to reputation.
If you saw Question Time last week you would have seen this scepticism in the questions asked, as Gavin Hewitt put it “Written on face after face was: "I don't believe you".” They’ve failed us before so epically, surely it’s going to take some time and some real tangible proof to regain the public’s trust?
This feeling was echoed in those interviewed in last week's Panorama with statistician Nate Silver, who was on a quest to tell us which way the election will go. He compared the voters here to those in the US, it seems as though we are far less predictable here, especially as many will be voting tactically!
Gavin Hewitt’s BBC article highlighted that David Cameron wants every voter to ask one question in the polling booth: "Who do I trust to run the economy?" and due to a lack of trust “the Tories have vowed to introduce a law guaranteeing no rise in tax rates before 2020 - as if, without legislation, they could not be trusted to carry out their own promises.” If a party doesn’t trust itself, how can we?
At a loss for inspiration in our current leaders, I started thinking about what exactly I'm looking for in our next leader and I stumbled across this (old but great) article.
The hardest thing to fake is trustworthiness and gaining honest trust can’t be built overnight. Here are 8 key points outlining how you can earn trust over time:
- Clarity: People trust the clear and mistrust or distrust the ambiguous.
- Compassion: People put faith in those who care beyond themselves.
- Character: People notice those who do what is right ahead of what is easy.
- Contribution: Few things build trust quicker than actual results.
- Competency: People have confidence in those who stay fresh, relevant, and capable. The humble and teachable person keeps learning new ways of doing things and stays current on ideas and trends.
- Connection: People want to follow, buy from, and be around friends—and having friends is all about building connections. Trust is all about relationships, and relationships are best built by establishing genuine connection. Ask questions, listen, and above all, show gratitude—it’s the primary trait of truly talented connectors. Grateful people are not entitled, they do not complain, and they do not gossip. Develop the trait of gratitude, and you will be a magnet.
- Commitment: People believe in those who stand through adversity. People trusted General Patton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Jesus, and George Washington because they saw commitment and sacrifice for the greater good. Commitment builds trust.
- Consistency: In every area of life, it’s the little things—done consistently—that make the big difference.