Your mom’s advice was completely wrong. You shouldn’t treat others the way you’d like to be treated; you should actually treat others the way they would like to be treated, instead. It’s called “the platinum rule,” and using it could make people trust you more.
That’s according to Robin Dreeke, at least, a FBI agent who also happens to be a former Marine who graduated from the Naval Academy. He recently co-authored the book The Code of Trust, which gives a step-by-step approach to communicating with others more effectively. (Here’s how you can use body language to get what you want, too.)
When it comes to making people like and trust you, Dreeke says it’s important to “talk in terms of what’s important to them, in a way they can readily understand, and they’ll be more inclined to give you what you want,” according to Business Insider.
Dreeke even has some advice on how to best implement this rule. From the very first conversation you have with someone, he recommends determining the type of communicator they are. (Here are five subtle habits that make people trust you.)
While some people like to focus on people-oriented stories and anecdotes, others are more driven by tasks, processes, and procedures. And direct communicators generally think while they speak, whereas indirect communicators think before they speak. People tend to have a combination of two of these traits. Learning the way each person communicates will make your conversations more effective—and even earn you some bonus points in friendship and trust.
Ultimately, whether you want to build trust with co-workers or repair a damaged relationship at home, you’ll be more successful if you speak in a language they’ll understand. (But if you say this one word, people might trust you already.)
Originally published as You Can’t Earn Someone’s Trust Without This One Thing, According to an FBI Agent on ReadersDigest.com.