Why Fake News Is Making it Harder to Win and Keep Trust

Aprils Fool and Fake News

Today’s post is inspired by the fact that we’ve just past yet another April’s Fool Day (where many an attempt is made to pull the wool over eyes for a bit of fun) and contrasting this with the truly damaging effects emerging from the rise and rise of fake news.

So, I admit it. I’m a business book junkie and try to read at least 2 new books a month to give me pause for thought and help me to learn new things.

And this month, after ignoring it for forever, I read a book that’s been a favourite in the world of business and politics for ions – Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’.

And the only reason I mention this – since I mistakenly assumed it would really only be of interest to folks who are fascinated by warfare – is that I was struck by one phrase more than any other in the book. And here it is:

“All war is based on the art of deception (AKA Fake News)”

Wow. That stopped me in my tracks. And not because the notion of people messing with communication to misdirect, deflect, confuse and/or hide stuff you don’t want others to see or believe is a new phenomenon. Of course, it’s not!

But because the growth of fake news noise in recent times has reached epidemic levels and this is having serious consequences all over the world – messing with emotions, personal energies and more.

AND it’s further reducing the ability of the average mortal to trust others…

…Which, in turn, makes it harder for today’s ‘good and well meaning’ leaders to win the confidence they need to inspire others into action.

3 Secrets Leaders Can Use to Combat the Scourge of Fake News

In this environment, here are 3 tips that will help you to attract the trust you crave for you, your ideas or your business:

  1. Never hide behind words or actions/inactions, be transparent – people will assess your motivations and judge you by what you say and do
  2. Never make anything up – if you lose trust, even over small matters, it will never be regained
  3. Think others first and give credit liberally – the more audiences believe you are someone who is selfless and have their best interests at heart, the more they’ll be influenced by you and gravitate towards you

Photo credit: Sean MacEntee









About Eamonn O'Brien

Public speaking master, Eamonn O'Brien is the founder of The Reluctant Speakers Club.