Own My Growth

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How Many People Trust You For The Work You Do ?

I was in Bangalore to spend time with family during the new year . Unfortunately, I had to battle a flu that kept me down for a couple of days.

I went across to meet my brother who is a renowned pediatrician, at his clinic, to get some quick medication to help me. The clinic was swarming with patients. I spent 5 quick minutes, got him to prescribe the medicine I needed and then made a quick retreat from there, not wanting to disrupt his schedule.

As I walked out , I wondered – “If I were a newcomer to the city and I had to take my kid to a doctor how do I decide which doctor to go to, If I did not have the constraint of a particular location?”

What would I want? A doctor who, I believe will be the best, for my kid.

How do I decide that? Based on feedback from friends who have kids and who have tried different doctors. I would go to a doctor that people I know, Trust!!

So trust is the currency that would define my choice of a particular doctor. It is not the qualification, it is not pedigree, it is not the infrastructure – it is just whether the doctor is trusted by someone, whose opinion I trust!!

If I extrapolate the concept to any other situation- entrepreneur, banker, consultant … it does not matter what the domain or industry may be – Trust is a critical predictor of success. The more I am trusted to deliver a great experience and result, the more valuable I become. The market I serve expands, as the number of people trusting me, multiplies.

Trust is the armor that protects me from the vagaries of the market place.

How does a doctor build trust and are there parallels that one can glean.?

1. Trust is created only when there is a personal connection. Human connection requires emotional investment in the interaction. My brother has to do it with both the child and the parents. He has to put himself out there and do it for real. Faking it won’t cut it.

2. Trust is created when one is generous. For a busy doctor , there is always the pressure to treat as many patients as possible, as if patients were just a random waiting number. For the Doctor, not falling prey to that instinct and spending those extra minutes time to engage the child and the parent is an act of generosity. Generosity is the instinct to put the benefit of the other person ahead of my own.

3. Quality of work creates trust. One needs to be skilled at whatever it is one is doing for others to trust. Bad workmanship will not create trust.

The big “aha” takeaway for me from that day- In this current day and age where virtually everyone is connected, “Trust” is created only when you do some real work and the other person can see or experience the work done. For e.g , when I go for an interview, I make assertions about what I have done. Can I show evidence of the real work I have done. Are there artifacts of my work, that are out there for everyone to see.

More than our resume, it is the real work we have done and the tangible evidence of that work that creates Trust. This should be the new measure of success that everyone should pursue. Do more people trust me today, because of the work I have done, compared to 6 months back or an year or 2 years back?

You could be anyone- a science graduate, programmer, banker, musician, doctor, architect or an author- What is the work that I have to do and put out there, that will help me become more trusted, at least within the community that I define as my market place. That should be one of the key goals for all of us in today’s time. It’s not your resume that will get you noticed, its your work !!

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