Job Seekers & Sales: The Trust Sanctuary

Think for a moment when you have felt the extreme emotions of joy and sadness in your life. Are those moments related to relationships with other people? Most likely it is. Most of our happiness and misery in life is associated with the people that we interact with on a daily basis. Our spouse, children, parents, co-workers, managers, friends, and random people that we encounter each day. Now think about the situations where interactions went well. Chances are there was a level of trust and love was felt.
The opposite is likely true when interactions didn’t go so well. I’m fascinated with what makes relationships work and what makes them go sideways. For years I’ve read excellent research on marital, parenting, sales, team, sports, and customer service relationships and I’ve found a pattern that is consistent with my own personal and professional experience. Every one of them is telling us the same thing in different ways – they are saying we need to learn HOW to show love better.
We need to learn how to help the person that we’re interacting with realize that we truly do care about them. The research in every relationship shows that to the extent that we can get past the superficial layer and get to a place where real mutual trust is felt, great things can happen. I call this place the “Trust Sanctuary” (TS). Think of an iceberg as a relationship where at the tip we talk about things that are not super meaningful to either person and where real trust can’t be found. Underneath the iceberg is a mountain of meaning that too often goes unexplored.
Somewhere deep in this hidden mountain is the elusive Trust Sanctuary. It’s not easy to find and it takes a lot of consistent work to get and stay there. In your marriage it means investing time and energy to find out what really matters to your spouse and having the character to give that. If you do that as parents, your kids will feel more loved and will be more inclined to trust you with their real feelings. If you do that with your prospects in a sales situation, it’ll be easier to find out what the prospect really needs so that you can determine the fit and close the sale.
The doors to the Trust Sanctuary are revolving and even in our long-term relationships we are constantly stepping in and out of the doors. We do something that erodes trust like raising our voice or not fulfilling a commitment and our partner steps out. We push too hard for the sale and the prospect steps out. So if we all know that trust and feeling loved is important why aren’t we better at helping everyone we interact with join us in the TS? Because it’s hard and we’re not always sure how to do it.
The first step is to have enough character to dive down past the surface level into the mountain beneath the tip of the iceberg. We do this by sitting down with the other person and finding out what they care about. We all feel loved in different ways and it’s important to find out how the other needs to feel it. Let me give you a quick example. My dad and I have always had a hard time finding the TS and it has always baffled me. I surely love him and I know he loves me, but we don’t always feel loved when we interact.
One day I got my SCUBA gear on and decided to take a deep dive to find out where our TS was hiding. Because I feel loved when I’m able to connect with someone through dialogue, I assumed everyone else was the same, including him. I had always been confused that he didn’t want to “talk” and bond that way. When I asked him more about what he does care about, he told me that the other day a 19 yr-old kid in his neighborhood noticed that my dad was planting trees and asked if he could help. Then with few words, they together planted trees and he said that that joint activity helped him feel more loved than all the words in the world. I realized that to invite him into our Trust Sanctuary, I needed to spend time with him doing activities that include service and recreation. Good luck in your quest to find the TS in your relationships – strap on your SCUBA gear and enjoy the process.

John Boyd

John Boyd is the author of The Illustrated Guide to Selling You. He’s a frequent speaker and coach on the subjects of life purpose, job search, goal achievement, positive psychology, well-being, communication, and healthy relationships.  His book is endorsed by Steven Covey, Brian Tracy, and Denis Waitley, and can be found at as well as in Barnes and Noble stores nationwide.”  Learn more about John at  He’d love to hear from you at