All things being equal, people do business with those they know, like and trust. Networking and building trust are still important for success. For 15 years I have delivered presentations on how to get known in business. It is not easy, and over the past decade social media has made building a reputation more complicated.  Too many people are pushing out content and seeking followers, while forgetting to cultivate relationships.

As people chase recognition on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, and other online sites, real human connections can seemingly take a back seat. Some “gurus” teach people that the average person is too busy to establish meaningful relationship, so they urge people to ignore the connection and build a following.

I am not sold that a like, link, share, or follow is more powerful than a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship. Yet I do admit that in the world of “influencers”, real business friendships are harder to create than they were when I began teaching on this topic.  But this means relationships are more important and powerful than ever.

The magic bullet to networking is TRUST.  This year I became certified a a trainer / coach with the Trust Edge Leadership Institute. David Horsager and his team have spent 20 years researching “trust” and its impact on success for business and life. The findings of the research have changed everything in how I engage with my own clients, and the ways I conduct my business.

The 8 Pillars of Trust, as described in Horsager’s books, “The Trust Edge” and “Trusted Leader”, are a framework for individuals and companies that lead to more success. The eight pillars are:

  • Clarity
  • Compassion
  • Character
  • Competency
  • Commitment
  • Connection
  • Contribution
  • Consistency

Too often we fall short in how we communicate with others, and one or more of these areas are not as strong as we hope. Most know trust is important, but being trusted is not always as easy as people think.

When one or more pillar comes up short, people might have trouble trusting us (and while they may not call is a lack of trust, they buy from our competitor whom they have a more trusted feeling).  In the end, in a world with so much information being pushed out at us, without trust it is hard for people to understand the whole reason they will select the product or services we sell.

As I weave this content into my presentations and coaching, clients are excited.  Saying “Build Trust” is too vague.  But showing a path to the 8 pillars is something that people can break down to small actionable tasks.  Networking and building trust have become more important after the pandemic and wont happen by accident.

When networking with people you do not have a lot of time to make a first impression. Combining the teaching of the Trust Edge into how you engage with people you meet in your industry can help you stand out. Each pillar has a lesson for people that directly aligns with making an impression with others.  Each person will have different things that they need to do in their approach to creating real long-term connections with others, but the 8 pillar framework can be a foundation to help you establish your network and lead you to winning more business.

Want to learn more about The Trust Edge and how it can help your team in several areas of building success?  If you desire for your team to take the assessment and discuss a program that will get everyone in your company focused on living with more success, let’s talk.  Thom@




Let’s just look at “Consistency”.  If you are not consistent in your actions, people will not trust you will deliver on what you promise. This is true in business and your personal life. We get so busy it is easy to let some things slip, but the people around us are being influenced by