Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Communication Trust Ladder

Carolyn Finch
Yesterday I presented a Spotlight Speech at the Hartford/Springfield Speakers Network. For years I have been teaching about the Communication Trust Ladder™. This time I presented the speech using the ladder. Yes it was my prop and I pointed out the importance of each step and why a ladder is like communication.
When you use a ladder it is usually because you have a job to do. You will get out the ladder, go up it and put the boxes in the attic while someone hands them to you. Perhaps you recently used your
ladder as the support system to paint your bedroom wall or maybe to clean out the gutters. Yuck! Whatever it was you stayed there for a while. You finished your challenge and then got down and put the ladder away. The basic 5 steps of communication are like the steps on a ladder.
When you speak with someone and strike up a conversation, the skills you use are like the process of climbing a ladder.  Those five steps are:
Step 1 is the entry level where we use questions and comments.
Step 2 is the soap Opera level where we talk about people places and things,
Step 3 is the idea level where we use the words I, me, my and myself. We own what we say!
Step 4 is the emotional level where we may use words like I feel, I’m nervous, I’m fearful.
Step 5 is the Trust Level where we say I like you, love you and interact and do business.
I actually stood on four of the 5 steps and made many audience members nervous. A few were almost ready to catch me if I fell. #LOL I shared my new Signature Story about Circus World and my experience on the flying trapeze. I related how I jumped out and grabbed the trapeze and had a great time swinging back and forth until I was lowered into the net below.
Many times we get where we want to be but when we don’t carry out the actions to a conclusion, signature on a contract or the sale of a service or product we need to repeat the actions to be stronger within... I forgot to pump my legs fast enough to get to the other platform and then go down the ladder to the floor. We sometimes are not ready so we return to our network group for more support in what we are doing or return to the Network to surf and get more information. In my case I was lowered to the net and have never had the opportunity to experience the other platform again. That’s communication!


  1. Interesting article, Carolyn.I wish I had seen your talk yesterday.

  2. Well polished and prepared speech, Carolyn. We all aspire to reach Step 5, and gain the trust of our customers, clients and colleagues.