How many of you realize that every person you meet gives you a test? They have five questions about you, and based on the grade you receive, decide if they like you enough to get involved with what’s going on with you, or run the other way?

The first question people have about you is: Can I trust you?

People want to spend their time with people they know, like, and trust because they feel safe with them. They know if something goes wrong, they can count on the other person to look out for them. When you can earn the trust of other people, they are more likely to go along with what you want and help you achieve it.

Trust is the key question everybody has about you. Trust is the cornerstone you can build upon to create great friendships and relationships.

The second question is: Do you care about me?

Looking out for ourselves is easy. But what could you gain if you raised your level of thinking up to the bigger idea of looking out for the best interest of others as much as your own?

Caring is the secret ingredient in relationships. Caring is the emotional connection, the deposit we leave in other people’s hearts that makes them want to be a part of our lives. People don’t care how much you know, til they know how much you care.

The third question is: Can I depend on you?

A lot of people don’t follow-through on what they say they’re going to do. They may have the best of intentions but not the discipline and commitment to follow through and deliver what they promised.

If you tell someone that you are going to do something, and then don’t do it, you are sabotaging your success. How many times have people told you they would do something, and then didn’t do it? Didn’t that cause you problems, sometimes BIG problems?

So, consider the impact you have on the people that are counting on you. If you don’t follow through on your promises, they lose their faith in you. On the other hand, when you consistently do what you say you’re going to do, people are drawn toward you like iron to a magnet because you’re one of the few that actually do what you say you’re going to do.

Question number four is: Am I important to you?

I once heard someone say, “I’m not much, but I’m all I ever think about.” That’s amusing to most of us when we really think about it, but it’s also true. The person we care about the most is the one that looks back at us in the mirror every day.

The faster the world turns, the more it creates people who want to have their personal worth validated by someone who takes the time to make them feel important.

When you make others feel important, you increase your personal magnetism. When you step out your door, transform yourself into a listener, an encourager, and a problem solver. Put all your attention on whomever you are with at the moment. Make it all about them, not about you. And people will love you for it!

And the final question is: Are you telling me the truth?

Let’s face it. We all want other people to be truthful with us. When we care enough about the welfare of someone else to be honest with them, the people with whom we want to build long-term relationships will appreciate and respect us for that. As a result, our reputation grows over time. We become someone they trust. And when they trust us, we can create some incredible things together.

The bottom line is this—we sabotage ourselves and our success by earning poor test scores. The formula for success is simple. If you want to have extraordinary relationships with people in your life, be trustworthy, look out for their best interest, do what you say you’re going to do, make them important, be honest with them, and show them how much you care about their success.

After all, isn’t that what you really want for your life?

Jeff Peden, The Great Ideas! Guysm, is an International Speaker and author of Take It To The MAX—The Ultimate Strategy for Maximizing Profits and Growth. He works with organizations on leadership & organizational development, employee engagement, and customer loyalty. Jeff can be reached at jeff@jeffpeden.com.

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