You are getting ready to undertake a digital transformation project. There are major changes ahead. But not everyone is on board. Many might not trust the process.\u00a0 Or perhaps it is because they don't trust the transformation agent (you). In order to get people on-board with the transformation you need to gain their\u00a0 trust. Gaining trust takes time.\u00a0 And the way you gain trust is different for different people. Think about your relationships. Are there people you trust?\u00a0 Why do you trust them?\u00a0 What did they do to earn that trust?\u00a0 Likewise think of people you don't trust.\u00a0 What did they do (or did not do) to warrant lack of trust on your part?\nThe same concept can be applied to business relationships.\u00a0 In previous articles I discussed the Business Relationship Manager role.\u00a0 The BRM requires a large amount of trust from their stakeholders. For both business and IT stakeholders. Same applies to change agents or project managers. In fact, almost every role works better if the people you are working with trust you.\n Thinkstock\nTrust is something that must be earned and deserved.\u00a0 Just having a title or working in a position for a long amount of time does not necessarily lead to trust. Trust grows over time. I spend a lot of time performing activities that slowly build trust.\u00a0 Evidence of trustworthy actions must be demonstrated. And the way I build trust is different for every stakeholder.\nOne method you can use to understand the forces against change and forces for change is to perform a Force Field Analysis (click here for more information). Force Field Analysis was created by Kurt Lewin in the 1940s. Lewin originally used the tool in his work as a social psychologist. Today, however, Force Field Analysis is also used in business, for making and communicating go\/no-go decisions. Maybe a reason for not going with the change could include a lack of trust. So gaining that trust could be the difference between a successful transformation and failure.\nIs there a formula for trust?\u00a0 Actually yes.\u00a0 In David Maister and Charles Green's book called "The Trusted Advisor" they discuss the four components of trust.\u00a0 They are: credibility, reliability, intimacy and stakeholder orientation.\nBeing a credible person is the first component of trust. Are you knowledgeable about the stakeholder's needs and expectations?\u00a0 How do you go about showing this credibility?\u00a0 If you say something will your stakeholder think you are a credible source?\u00a0 The high the credibility the higher the trust.\u00a0 This is why people write articles, books, earn industry certifications,\u00a0 or speak at conferences.\u00a0 Helps build credibility in their field.\nWhat about reliability? To become trustworthy you should develop a track record of commitment and consistency, delivering results no matter how small or large.\u00a0 Did you say you would get back to your stakeholder by close of business Friday?\u00a0 Then make sure you do. Or if you can't make the deadline don't ignore them.\u00a0 Always keep them in the loop. If you can't be reliable on the small stuff, how can you be expected to be trusted on the bigger stuff?\nCan you discuss uncomfortable topics with your stakeholders? If you can then you have a more intimate relationship. Building intimacy with a stakeholder certainly takes time. Simple actions such as preferring in person conversations rather than e-mail or getting to know people as individuals builds intimacy.\nStakeholder orientation means that you are more interested in them than in your own agenda. A simple question like "how can I help" lets them know you are there to help them with their situation.\nSo the formula for trust is: trust = credibility + reliability + intimacy + stakeholder orientation.\u00a0 The question to ask yourself is: what am I doing on a daily basis to build trust? It is not always the big actions that make a difference. Many times it is the small activities that make the most positive impact.