The psychology of connection – how we make decisions about who we trust

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Trust is about what the notes we don’t play

Miles Davis once said that jazz is about the notes you don’t play. Communication around building trust is not about more information: that will just overwhelm our audience.

How we decide who to trust

The people we want to connect with make decisions about who they trust based on what seems to be very little information: a short story, a few non verbal and visual cues. How does that work?

Thin Slicing

Thin slicing is the ability  to find patterns in events based only on “thin slices,” or narrow windows, of experience. Studies have shown that brief observations can be used to assess outcomes, at levels higher than expected by chance. thin slicing

How this applies to video

An interesting aspect of visual content is that we are surprisingly good at assessing someone’s skill level and intelligence. The research is mind boggling; humans can fairly accurately assess someone’s intelligence and personality just by looking at someone’s photo. We’re not describing prejudice here; this is measurable and the experiments have been repeated with similar results.

People behind the brand

We can use thin slicing and our ability to assess personality by communicating around the people behind brands. Staff profile videos are a great application of this; a 20-30 second video will give our viewers enough information to assess whether they’re a good fit with your culture and values.

Authenticity – you can’t control the outcome

To stick with the jazz analogy; if you write out the whole composition, it stops being jazz. Staff profiles can backfire if they’re overly scripted and contrived. If you do profile videos, you have to allow for variation and deviation. As long as you everyone on board  on values and your brand essence, diversity of delivery and opinion will only further strengthen your brand and the communication of purpose.

LinkedIn profile videos

Once you have the staff profile videos in place, you can greatly improve the impact you have by adding them to everyone’s LinkedIn profile. Here’s a tutorial on how to add a video to your LinkedIn profile.