Developing Trust: The Key to Success and Happiness in 2018

Posted by dscaringi on January 2, 2018

If you carefully examine your relationships, what separates the good ones from the really great ones? What is the secret sauce that makes the great ones really sing? What makes you feel good and comfortable with an other person? What hurts so badly when it is betrayed?

I am going to be bold here… trust.  I see the common denominator to all successful relationships as this simple (but emotionally complex) 5-letter word: trust.  Some of the definitions are particularly interesting:

TRUST

  1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc. of a person or thing; confidence.
  2. a person on whom or thing on which one relies.
  3. the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed.
  4. to believe.

Trust is the characteristic upon which respect and loyalty are based. Without trust, there is negative tension that erodes possibilities. Trust is critical for both personal and business relationships.

For our purpose today, let’s talk about the business context. People want to work with people they connect with and like. They also want to work with people whom they can trust to help them. In the spirit of the new year, let’s set the intention of trust in 2018. Easy to say, but not always easy to accomplish. So, let’s outline some tips to earning someone’s trust.

  • Be Honest, Always.  In our current sad time politically, Americans are understandably becoming less trusting. However, we must stay the course. It is up to us, as individuals, to keep the spirit of trust alive. The only way to do this is to be upfront and honest. How do you show someone that you are honest?  Always tell the truth. I am not saying to be brutal and hurt feelings, but rather find ways deliver the truth in a constructive, helpful way. Simply put:  don’t lie.
  • Be Available.  Being available also means being present in whatever way your client needs, whether its’ physical, emotional or virtual. They need to know that you are reliable and looking out for their greater good.
  • Be Consistent. Always deliver the best products and results you possibly can. By modeling consistent behavior, you show people what you are made of and what they can expect to receive.
  • Be Helpful. Ask thoughtful questions and clear pathways to help people reach goals. Genuinely help people because it feels like the right thing to do. If you nurture mutually beneficial relationships through open and honest communication, helpfulness will always come back to you in spades.
  • Do what you say you will do. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. However, you should strive to go above and beyond whenever possible. This goes back to the honesty rule. Unrealistic promises will always hurt you. If you continually do what you say you are going to do, people will come back when they need your help again. If you can’t deliver what you thought you could? Be honest. Tell them how you miscalculated the task and tell them what you can do.

There are so many good reasons to build trust, both personally and professionally. Building honesty, consistency and helpfulness into your daily existence is an excellent way to lead your professional business success.

Happy New Year! I wish you all the very best 2018  has to offer!

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Annual Reflections Work Their Magic

Posted by dscaringi on December 27, 2017

Before we usher in the new year, I want to each of us to take a moment to reflect on 2017. Life can blur past us sometimes. It’s good to make a conscious effort to acknowledge the good and bad of each year. By doing so, it helps you to focus on the new year through a fresh lens. I find the holiday season to be a perfect time to pause and reconnect with our many blessings. A few things to consider in your reflection process:

  • Did you set goals last year?  If yes, did you meet those goals?  If you feel short, where did you fall short?
  • What went well this year? How can you repeat that success?
  • What didn’t go so well this year? How can you change that next year?
  • Who helped along the way? How can you thank them?
  • Who do you need help from next year? How do you respectfully ask for that assistance?
  • What are your goals for 2018? What actionable steps can you take to meet them?

I do know that when I take on this reflective exercise, I always learn how incredibly lucky I am. I am grateful to my family, friends and clients.  They all make my life so full.

In recognition of my clients, over the year I have made donations to Dana Farber, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, American Lung Association, ALS Association, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Worcester County Food Bank. I am grateful to these organizations (amongst many others) for always being poised to help at the most critical times in the lives of people around us.

I wish all of you an abundance of happiness, success and peace in the new year.

Happy holidays!

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Yes, You Can Use Instagram for Legal Marketing

Posted by dscaringi on October 13, 2017

We live in a visual world. Photography is a powerful tool for telling a compelling story. It’s no mystery that people are quite comfortable using photography through social media outlets. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linked In are filled with photos associated with a range of stories.

More and more, businesses are realizing that the old saying “a picture says a thousand words” is very true. There is now a strong comfort level with using Twitter and Linked In for business and a moderate increase in business Facebook users. But what about one of the most image-driven social media tool out there, Instagram? Instagram is one of the most untapped tools for legal marketing. There is a great opportunity to get involved in a less crowded space. Here are a few tips for using Instagram for legal marketing:

  • Understand how you can use the platform. Think through what you hope to accomplish and who the target audience is. This is a great tool for both general marketing and recruiting purposes.
  • Have a strategy. Which clients are currently users? Is there a specific type of audience who can buy your services or refer you to someone who can? Determine the brand you want to project and the kinds of images will help further that brand. Consider using both video and still images on this tool. Decide who will post and how often.
  • Find some early adopters. The best people to further your strategy are those who are already using the platform in their daily lives. These folks have built an Instagram habit and know how to use the tool which are the two major roadblock to success.
  • Share content. Minimize the words you use and use rich images that tell the story. Clients have interesting buildings, products or projects. Highlight those and provide a link in the comments.
  • Don’t talk about the law… at least not directly. Use the tool as a brand awareness campaign, not a way to give legal advice. Show trends, beautiful images of your surroundings, your clients or other worldwide events.
  • Follow lots of other Instagram users. Build a following over time by following people you know and other interesting Instagram users. Don’t be shy– it’s good to follow lots of people, as many times they will follow you back. There aren’t many reasons to hold back!
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