Trust, and feeling safe is HUGE in working virtually—we all know it.
The challenge? How long it takes different people to develop trust and the feeling of safety with others, and what the words “trust” and “trustworthy” and "safe" mean to different people.
That’s why I always encourage the AssistU Virtual Assistants and those non-AU VAs I coach to not only get to know themselves very well, but to also become more relationally mature, so that they can build conscious relationships with clients, and even go more consciously in to those relationships to begin with. One way that they do that is by engaging in a very specific interview/consultation process which, as one part, has them discussing all sorts of extraordinarily relational things meant to discover and uncover places where they match, and places where there are disconnects that need discussing. The goal is to do more work on the front end of things, to prevent running into horrid problems, conflicts, and betrayals of trust once the relationship begins.
And even when they go through this process, sometimes they do run into those exact things—although rarely. Rarely is good. It’s very good. Relationships should be, for the most part, incredibly easy and effortless. People in relationships need to fit together well. And when they do, the ease makes it far less difficult to deal with unpleasant relationship stuff when it comes up. And it does come up.
Bit O’Moxie: What matters most is not that conflict, problems--even betrayal never happen, but how you and your client deal with them when they do. Working through the situations can (and often will), in fact, make a relationship far stronger, and deepen the trust the two of you share. In truth, it's far easier to bail on a relationship than work things out, but it's easier to work things out when you've chosen the client well to begin with.