As humans we have basic needs – everyone does, and finding ways to increase your business is to trust that this is the case.
Connection and Compasion
One area of those basic needs is to love and be loved. Or to connect and have compassion. Connection and compassion 2 areas that can be so powerful in our lives, yet so often they seem to be missed in this fast paced world of business.
As business owners, leaders, marketers, and employees there are social platforms that we use to find out what is happening in our industry and to build relationships. These relationships may lead to business, or future employment opportunities. In all of these areas it is about building a relationship with the people. This principle applies in any medium. Be it social platforms, face to face or wherever your prospects hang out. We all want connection and social proof before we purchase. (Even if we don’t know it). We need to trust.
Trust brings happiness
When we trust we are happier, more satisfied with our work, and working relationships, we are healthier and we even can go over and beyond what is expected. So trust is an important aspect of our business lives. Neuroscience research shows that in many ways our brains are hardwired to trust others. As a species, we tend to want to work together and are therefore are very open to trusting other people and groups. There can be many reasons why we connect – networking, finding common ground, supporting one another, creating/finding opportunities and collaborating are just a few ways. There also are downsides to trusting so easily.
A few months back whilst working with a very successful business owner who had come to me to move to the next level in her business, we had an interesting discussion on trust. Whilst the conversation initiated around strategy and creating connections on social media, it soon move to trust. The conversation went something like this. She explained to me that she had connected with someone (a male) recently on social media who had reached out to them. They believed the connection to be business related, as they had connected via their business page. Over the course of a few days, she had asked some questions and got some interesting answers from this new person. So after quite a few messages my client explained to me that at this point her trust in him was strong as they had had some interesting conversations. When she was invited by the guy to join a (social platform) group that he thought would be good for her, she agreed. My client explained to me, it wasn’t one of those situations where someone connects with you, and then starts selling their services right in your face.
Even though there was some trust she was still perplexed on what his need was, and the purpose of joining the group. He said it would do all these amazing things, so her curiosity got the better of her and she tapped on the link just to see what it was all about. At the time she was working on her computer, and only had his message and the link open. Immediately her antivirus went into overdrive and detected a virus! She told me, she knew exactly where it had come from. Her trust levels plummeted instantly.
So whilst being hardwired and very open to trusting other people and groups, this was not in her favour this time! This hardwiring aspect of our human nature is one reason that having trust betrayed can also short-circuit your neurobiology and make it difficult to trust again.
In the situation with my client, the guy then proceeded to hound her for days, and she explained she felt she was being hit on by the guy. In the end she stopped the messages. The impact from this was huge though in her business. It stopped her from reaching out to others, or allowing others to come in. This meant her business was decreasing at a rapid rate. So during our coaching sessions we worked through her current beliefs, and the impact it was having on her and her business, and how having trust, and allowing clients into her world will change her business. Once we had finished that session her business connections doubled almost overnight, and profits increased as a result.
Trust and really understanding how trust works therefore should be important to leaders, be they in business or heading up an international company. Trust is the enabler to increase your business; without it, most market transactions would be impossible. Studies suggest that when we are in an engagement state it increases collaboration, cognitive ability, risk-taking and creative problem-solving capacity, thanks to the increased levels of our happiness hormones, serotonin and oxytocin.
Businesses that build trust among their customers are rewarded with greater loyalty and higher sales. And negotiators who build trust with each other are more likely to find value-creating deals.
Paul Zak, is the founding director of the Centre for Neuroeconomics Studies and a professor of economics, psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University. In a recent article Zak stated,
“Research shows that oxytocin release can be reciprocal – if our interaction causes your brain to make oxytocin, it will typically do the same for mine.”
This is why we love connecting with others.
“Fear is a great motivator in the short term but a poor one in the long term,” Zak writes. Just as my client found out with her business.
Insights from neuroscience can help colleagues build trust with each other, and help boost the bottom line of your business.
Sometimes it takes someone from outside of your business to see what’s right in front of you. If you are looking for someone to assist you stepping up within your business, maybe I can help. Send me a message and we can set a free STRATEGY SESSION. Click the link to let me know.