Fabian Pfortmüller on How to Build Trusting Relationships

In Chapter 15 of 19 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, community builder and entrepreneur Fabian Pfortmüller notes why being genuine and realistic are two cornerstones of buliding trusting relationships.  He tries to live by "say what you mean and mean what you say" in daily interactions and continues to learn about his limitations on what he can do to fulfill promises.  Pfortmüller is co-founder of Sandbox Network (www.sandbox-network.com).  He also co-founded an innovation think tank, Incubaker (www.incubaker.com), and is part of the group's first spin-off, Holstee (www.holstee.com), an apparel brand for people who would like to wear their passion.  Pfortmüller graduated from Columbia University and its School of General Studies. 


Erik Michielsen: How do you establish trust when building relationships?

Fabian Pfortmüller: For me it has a lot to do with being genuine, I believe building trust in a relationship has a lot to do with just being genuine of who you are and what you want to do and what drives you and most people can relate to other people if they realize they are honest. I try to live by ‘Say what you mean and mean what you say’ in daily interactions with people and being – not promising something I can’t fulfill, I used to have the tendency of always wanting to help someone even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to fulfill it, and that has been one of my big learnings is also that even though that is a good thing, right?

You want to help someone and you want to really be… be helpful and do things for that person that is only helpful if you can actually fulfill it. If you don’t it hurts that relationship more that it does otherwise, and so I try to learn now to be very realistic but at the same time also very – trying to be helpful whenever you can and I think on of the beautiful things of running something Sandbox is always trying to help other people with the community of people you have around you.