How Trust Influences Our Behavior and Everyday Choices

On a typical Friday night, you may find yourself with a group of friends walking down a street, looking for a restaurant to grab a bite. A man outside of one of the restaurants encourages you to come in and get a table.

What causes you to ignore or accept that invitation? This is the art and science of influence at work.

What and Who We Trust Influences Our Actions

Every day, we are influenced by, at first blush, what appears to be invisible forces. But we can actually identify principles that increase the probability that you will act in a particular manner, based on how these principles are at work in any given circumstance.

Our behavior is not completely rational. In fact, it is governed by many factors that are embedded in our thinking. For example, most people need evidence or tangible proof to believe in something, while others are easily influenced by their social connections.

When it comes to behavior change, coaches understand the need to provide tangible proof – a sort of “show versus tell” approach, relating that results are achievable. This is especially true for clients who may need that extra boost in confidence or motivation.

Many of our independent distributors start with their personal testimony of transformation, whether that involves weight loss or simply living a better lifestyle. They act as living testimonies for their customers, building trust that a personal nutrition plan will yield results.

How Is Trust Established?

There is much science on this topic. Psychologists like Robert Cialdini have even published books to distill key principles that the research supports that are more universally applied.

According to his book, Influence, the six principles of persuasion are:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Authority
  4. Consistency
  5. Liking
  6. Consensus

Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors are trained by our coaching experts on how these principles are helpful in creating an enduring relationship with their customers, a relationship that is built upon trust.

Trust is about emotional intelligence – understanding what truly matters for the other person. Distributors actively listen to their customer’s concerns, fears, and challenges, working together to develop a personalized action plan.

When I reflect back on my own life, having moved from city to city, I realize that the most important path that I needed to take was the one that I had discovered, and then chosen. I can trace this all back to the social connections that influenced me the most, the people whom I trusted – among them was my coach.

To embark on my journey, I first had to trust in my coach, who then imparted a belief in myself. This loop of trust is the creation of the wonder of empowerment.

How Our Distributors Model Positive Behavior and Builds Resilience

Trust is the foundation of positive and nourishing relationships. An independent distributor establishes the trust that’s needed to support meaningful lifelong behavior change. Distributors establish trust by modeling positive behavior, moving people from contemplation to decision, from inaction to action.

This is what we train our distributors: that specific principles on behavior change can be applied in a coaching relationship.

When I am compliant with someone’s directions, there is a high degree that the action is transactional and momentary. But when my actions are based on my own beliefs about myself and my desired future, I suddenly am influenced in a much more persuasive manner to act and continue to act in a way that leads to persistence.

It is this persistence that is needed when adversity occurs. We call this attribute of withstanding adversity our ability to be resilient.  Our resilience can be traced to the amount of trust that we have in our desired goal and our belief in ourselves to attain that goal.

For people looking to make significant behavior change, such as losing weight, adherence to a nutrition or fitness plan is often a challenge. This is where trust in a coach and a supportive community can help build positive beliefs that change is possible.

Customers on a personalized nutrition plan will want to trust a distributor who is very knowledgeable about different types of nutrition products. And when they put their trust in a distributor who is committed to their wellness, transformation can be achieved more effectively and efficiently.

Kent L. Bradley, M.D., MBA, MPH – Vice President, Medical Affairs Nutrition Education

Kent L. BradleyM.D., MBA, MPH – Vice President, Medical Affairs Nutrition Education

Dr. Bradley is a retired Army Colonel, graduate of the United States Military Academy and has a Master in Public Health from the University of Minnesota, an executive MBA from the University of Denver, and a medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. He is board certified in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and holds a certificate in Corporate Governance from INSEAD.