One of the first things my new college roommate said to me when we first met was, “Trust me.” Oh right, I have no idea who you are and know nothing about you but I’ll trust you just because you said, “Trust me.” I don’t think so.
Thankfully, after getting to know my roommate, I determined I could trust him. If he said he would do something, he would do it. However, if he didn’t say he would do something, I learned to not assume he would anyway.
Have you met people who use the phrase, “trust me,” in a very cavalier way? It can almost be a “filler” phrase like “you know,” “like” or “um.” “Trust me” is a powerful phrase, however, that should not be used loosely.
Remember back to elementary school when you learned about imperative sentences. “Trust me” is one of those. Imperative sentences are those sentences that instruct someone what to do and “You” is implied to be the first word in the sentence.
You trust me.
Trust, like respect, needs to be earned. Someone’s title or position does not increase the probability you will trust without reason. In fact, the higher up someone is, you will be less likely to trust the person. The person might as well be saying, “Don’t trust me.”
The stereotypical person who would use the phrase “trust me” would be a car salesman. Everyone walks into a car dealership expecting to be taken advantage of. Well, at least you know the salesman will try. You’re ready for it. You might even bring someone with you who is good at negotiating. You won’t trust the salesman just because he says so.
The same should be said for everyone. It’s unfortunate that we cannot inherently trust people. If you do, you will get burned. You should trust but be skeptical. If the public accounting profession, we are taught to always have a level of professional skepticism in our dealings with clients. Things may not always be as simple or clean as we’re being told.
I’m sorry, you have to earn my trust.
When I work with new employees, I do not expect everything to be done perfectly the first time. I instruct and then inspect. If the work is not of a certain quality, I instruct some more. Once the work is consistently performed to a certain standard, I can begin to trust and relax my oversight. I should use this same philosophy with everyone.
Trust me, it will work.