Talking Trust: INBOUND 2019

If you’re a marketer in Boston, you’ve heard of HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference; a week when tens of thousands of attendees gather to hear from the world’s most innovative thinkers, doers and risk takers. And boy, did one of the fastest-growing business events in the world live up to the hype.

The speaking lineup was jammed packed with top talent including: Katie Couric, Chelsea Handler, Jennifer Garner, even Chip and Joanna Gaines. Yet personally, I’d have to say the most impactful speaker was a woman named Rachel Botsman.

Rachel is an expert on trust – what it means, how it works and why it’s so important in every aspect of our lives. Trust is such a vital part of our day-to-day, playing a role in everything from team dynamics to client relations. I was hooked.

Some of the things Rachel talked about I’d heard before – trust signals (clues we use to decide whether we like someone), the trust gap (an illusion of information that encourages us to trust), and the trust leap (jumping from known to unknown). But then she went down an unfamiliar path stating:

“Trust is a confident relationship with the unknown.”

Translation: People tend to believe the more transparent they are, the more trust can be built. But, as Rachel pointed out, it’s an incredibly flawed concept:

  • Trust can’t be built. It must be earned.
  • More trust shouldn’t always be the goal. We must trust the right people.
  • The thing that damages trust isn’t secrets or privacy. It’s deception. If you need to be more transparent you’ve given up on trust.

Many people think authenticity and transparency are one and the same. But really what we’re talking about here is truth vs. openness. One is earned by doing good and honest work. The other is demanded after we’ve strayed from our true north.

So, I’ll leave you with the four determinants of trust Rachel left us with: competence, reliability, empathy, integrity.

Take a moment to reflect on your understanding and expression of these traits in your professional day-to-day. Ask yourself: Are you exhibiting them with your coworkers, clients? Is there room for growth?

Let’s analyze and adapt. It’s the best way to keep moving forward, together – as individuals, marketers, brands, and as a society.

This blog post was written by Kelsey Johnson from March Communications.