Removing friction from trust-building

Greg Salmela
1 min readJan 22, 2021

There’s a difference between earning someone’s trust and trying to earn someone’s trust.

The challenge with trying is that it creates friction. In trust-building, trying can signal that the initiator is an outsider or a pretender. It can also suggest an agenda.

Ideally, good communication is easy. If it isn’t, there may be an issue with how an organisation is oriented to its audience.

Organisations are inherently oriented top-down, but building authentic connection with people requires a more bottom-up approach.

We’ve recently worked with a not-for-profit organisation to help strengthen the connection supporters have with its cause. Previous programs to encourage engagement and community-building were very institutional and ultimately fell flat.

By better orienting the institution to their supporters, trust was strengthened, communication became more natural and intuitive, and the relationship transformed into one that was more productive, self-sustaining and collaborative.

I founded Aegis, a relational design firm. We help create emotionally-intelligent brands and organisations.

Greg Salmela

Hanging with human-centred thinkers, researchers and designers.