Too good to be true
How to improve your "know, like, and trust" factor (i.e., be like my Dad)
Is it possible to be too good to be true?
According to my Dad, whose 80th birthday* we’re celebrating later today: Absolutely.
You see, he (jokingly) describes himself this way, provoking eye rolls from my Mom and giggles from the rest of us.
Becuase the thing about being “too good to be true” is that it’s usually accompanied by suspicion.
After all, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is, right?
From an influencer de jour claiming to earn a 7-figure income while sipping Mai-Tais on the beach to a sponsored Instagram ad that promises your dream body in just ten minutes a day, it’s no wonder we’re skeptical.
It’s rare to exceed expectations.
But in my Dad’s case, he’s spent nearly eight decades operating in such a way that his friends, family, and clients genuinely would agree with his self-assessment in the most delightful way possible.
What’s his secret?
He’s become an expert at upping what I call his “know, like, and trust” factor.
Humans are curious creatures. We’re hardwired for connection, but when we perceive a threat, we’ll avoid it like the plague to protect ourselves.
Even if that “threat” is an off-putting person.
(I’m looking at you, random person pitching me in my DMs.)
We prefer first to have a sense of who we’re dealing with before partnering or doing business, tend to align ourselves with those with whom we feel a certain affinity, and value the recommendations of those we consider a friend or colleague.
And that doesn’t happen by accident.
Here are nine ways to be intentional with your behaviors and improve your “know, like, and trust” factor to become too good to be true, just like my Dad:
1. Regularly share your wisdom.
Allow people to get to know you and what matters most by sharing your insights and experiences. And not just around the “wins”—sharing the times when things didn’t go as planned and the lessons you learned as part of those “failures” will endear you to others as an authentic leader.
When you do this regularly, those most important to you will look to you as an emotionally intelligent guidepost, a trusted thought leader who strives to serve others by communicating the lessons they’ve learned in an engaging and compelling way.
2. When communicating, keep others in mind.
Far too often, we assume that everyone thinks, behaves, and communicates the same way we do. Worse, we make the mistake of focusing our sales pitches and communication about us rather than our intended audiences. Yet, no matter your industry or profession, four words have the power to change your results completely: It’s not about you.
3. Talk less, listen more.
The most likable people are those who go out of their way to listen more than they speak, which improves relationships and communication and fosters collaboration, giving them a competitive advantage.
4. Embrace the principles of empathy.
When you put others first, you see things from their perspective. This means you’ll better understand your customers, colleagues, and partners and then use those insights to better serve and communicate with them.
5. Be more charismatic.
Charisma isn’t just about your likability or ability to tell a good story. Instead, its real power has less to do with you and everything to do with how you make others feel. Mastering the art of connection is the key to unlocking your charisma.
6. Smile more.
Research shows that smiling puts others at ease, draws others to you, inspires confidence and trust, is good for you, makes you more creative, and is contagious. Better yet? It’s available in an unlimited supply.
7. Be like Seth.
Seth Godin says there are only two real currencies in business: attention and trust. And treating people with kindness, respect, and generosity is the best way to earn them.
8. Look people in the eye.
When you stop multitasking, you’re free to look up and home in on those with you to actively listen. People feel valued when they are heard, which fosters feelings of trust and respect. In return, when you maintain eye contact and give someone your full, undivided attention, they’ll feel “seen” and validated.
9. Value relationships over transactions.
Those who embody the “know, like, and trust” factor play the long game. They understand that by putting others first and adopting a service mindset, they can improve communication and connection, establish trust, deepen relationships, and build business.
Another thing that’s too good to be true?
People who seem so professionally lucky.
But they’ll be the first to tell you the truth: their success isn’t based on chance; it’s created through their conscious choices and behaviors.
In my latest Forbes article, I share seven proven ways to increase your “career luck.”
P.S. When I’m not writing this newsletter or listening to my Dad tell us why he’s too good to be true, I’m a social media ghostwriter. (Yep, that’s a thing). I help founders craft their stories to communicate and connect better, magnifying their reach and impact. (Think personal branding and thought leadership.) Learn more here.
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*Even though it’s technically not his real birthday until April 5th, my Dad likes to celebrate his “birthday” multiple times throughout the year. Which seems only fitting for a man who’s too good to be true. 😉
Insightful as always, Amy!!! 💡
I love the photo of you and your Dad, by the way! ❤️
More importantly, I love how you have such an INCREDIBLE LIFE and want others to have [if but a piece of] that, also!! 🌎