BUILDING TRUST – Working hard to see things from another person’s perspective and listening to them carefully will go a long way toward solving the problem and gaining their trust and confidence. This will put them at ease, help more information to flow more freely, help you to solve the problem, and build more trust and confidence.
As you aspire to put this virtuous circle together, it’s helpful to keep a few things in mind.
Treat people the way you would like to be treated: with respect, patience, and responsiveness.
Remain open-minded. Nothing is impossible, even if it sounds weird or is inconsistent with your technical training.
Write things down. This will help you to capture and process important information, and it demonstrates that you are listening and taking things seriously.
Show empathy. Tell the person you understand how this feels and how important it is. This simple acknowledgement goes a long way. Tell them you’ll help. It’s always good to reassure someone that you can and will help. Your clear commitment will go a long way toward improving their comfort with the situation.
Switch modes. As matters go on over time, use a variety of media to keep the communication fresh, and to be sure nothing is lost in translation. Break up a lengthy e-mail thread with a phone call. Follow up a phone call with a face-to-face discussion. Confirm a discussion via e-mail. This will help to make sure that the communication connection holds over time, until the issue is resolved.