Put your phone down
Maintaining eye contact when someone is talking will help build trust because it shows genuine interest, but that’s hard to do if you keep glancing at your phone or scanning around the room. “Listen with your eyes,” says Paul Zak, PhD, author of Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High Performance Companies. “It says, ‘I don’t want to look at emails—you’re important.’ Building stronger human ties makes it easier to trust people and know more about them.” Check out the 40+ most trusted brands in America, from a new Reader’s Digest survey.
Uncross your arms and legs
You might only be crossing your arms and legs, say, because you’re cold, but that stance closes you off. “They’re unknowingly communicating something negative because they’ve positioned their body in a way that is a defense mechanism,” says Lisa Gueldenzoph Snyder, PhD, professor and chairperson of the department of business education at North Carolina A&T State University. “It blocks any basis for building trust.” Make sure your body looks open—you’ll look more open to hearing others’ thoughts. These are subtle habits you have that make people trust you.