Josh Blum & Dr. Andre Caruso: The Importance of Trust

In this episode, Steve Fretzin, Josh Blum, and Dr. Andre Caruso discuss:

  • Mistakes attorneys make that fail to gain trust.
  • Why trust matters and the different dimensions of trust.
  • Ways we can quickly build trust.
  • Making the right first impression.

Key Takeaways:

  • People hold how they feel about you higher than how competent you are.
  • You do not always need to be in lawyer mode. Turn off the lawyer speak, be more authentic and human, and you will improve your trust and likeability.
  • Put a little effort into building trust. You need to talk about more than the obvious or the weather.
  • Treat people they way they want to be treated. It is your responsibility to adapt to their communication style to be more trusted.

“When you can create some sort of connection with someone, it’s going to help build that idea of trust. Even if it is just that subconscious thought of that connection.” —  Dr. Andre Caruso

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Episode References:

About Josh Blum: Josh Blum has worked for nearly 20 years within the professional services and financial services industries and worked with thousands of advisors, attorneys and accountants in his career educating them and their clients on how to successfully become trusted advisors to their clients.

Considered a subject matter expert Josh has served as President of the Financial Planning Association of Miami is a published author and currently sits as Chair of the Board of the FPA of Miami.

In addition to the educational services Josh provides and his pro-bono work he is also cofounder and partner in JB and The Doctor and IVOLVE Performance & Development. JB and The Doctor provide soft skills training to professionals to achieve greater productivity, enhance communication and minimize the cost of employee turnover.

About Dr. Andre Caruso: Dr. Andre Caruso, affectionately known as ”The Doctor” or “Doc”, combines his deep knowledge of psychology with extensive practical experience across many sectors. Earning a Doctorate in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University, his career has seamlessly transitioned from the hospitality industry along with significant roles in nonprofit organizations and special education, integrating with behavior modification and mindset development. This diverse experience underscores his ability to apply behavioral insights to effect positive, lasting change in both individuals and organizations.

Doc’s approach to educating is both scientifically grounded and deeply empathetic, focusing on empowering individuals and teams to reach their full potential. Through innovative program development and hands-on training, he has dedicated his career to enhancing personal and professional growth. With over two decades of experience, Dr. Caruso stands out as a pivotal figure in the field, embodying a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical wisdom to inspire insight, resilience and growth.

Connect with Josh Blum and Dr. Andre Caruso:  


Josh’s LinkedIn:

Doc’s LinkedIn:




Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.


Email: [email protected]

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.


[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody, if you’re looking to level up as a lawyer, you want to join me and my friend Rachel Steininger, who’s been on the show a couple times. For 10 easy to execute hacks to unlock your full potential, you can sign up on my website Fretzin. com slash events and hope to see you there and enjoy the show.

[00:00:20] Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author, and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:42] Steve Fretzin: Well, Hey everybody. Welcome back to another fun, exciting, wonderful episode of the be that lawyer with frets and podcast. You know, I just want to tell you right up front how excited I am coming up on 400 shows very, very soon. And that’s quite a task in about four years, so I appreciate it if you’ve been listening for a while, that you’re sticking with it, and that your team, you know, make it every week, twice a week, your opportunity to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker, getting tips and ideas to, to live your best lawyer’s life.

[00:01:12] Steve Fretzin: And if you’re new to the show, hey, check it out go back and listen to some episodes and you could start at the beginning, you could just start from where we are, but we missed a lot of good content over the years, so go back and check it out if that’s your jam. We’ve got Josh and Doc hanging out in the wings here, how are you guys, Josh?

[00:01:27] Josh Blum: Doing fantastic, Steve, appreciate you having us on the show. 

[00:01:30] Steve Fretzin: Alright, and Dr. Andre Caruso, we’re calling you Doc, is that what we’re doing? Sounds good to me. All right. That’s cool. And you can call me the lawyer whisperer. No, don’t call me that, but I’m happy you, you both are here. We’re going to start with our quote of the show.

[00:01:43] Steve Fretzin: We’re going to talk a lot about trust today. So this, this quote is right in line to be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved. And that’s a George McDonald who we don’t know who that is. That’s okay. It’s, he’s probably a very wise man, knew a lot about trust. So Josh, you want to tell us a little bit about that quote, why you why that’s our quote of the show?

[00:02:02] Josh Blum: Yeah, see, trust is a trust is something that’s earned it. It doesn’t happen naturally or easily. It takes time and effort and energy. Love doesn’t know it, right? We, we, we have this love at first sight concept where, oh, my gosh, I just, I’m just this person’s amazing. And love is very forgiving trust isn’t.

[00:02:22] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, you know, 

[00:02:23] Josh Blum: trust requires you to show up consistently and to continue showing up and it’s very easy to lose. 

[00:02:31] Steve Fretzin: Well, I think also trust and love are, are, you know, step step siblings or something like that, because you’re in love, but then when the trust gets broken in a loving relationship, that’s when probably that’s for the divorce attorneys out there.

[00:02:43] Steve Fretzin: All right, doc, you want to add to this? They’re listening close. Oh, they are. Oh, they are. Doc, you want any, any color on that? 

[00:02:50] Dr. Andre Caruso: The reason trust is such a challenge up front is because of our natural instinct to defend ourselves, right? So we’re going to have that fight or flight that’s already there ready to go.

[00:03:02] Dr. Andre Caruso: So to get past that ability that we know we’re safe, we have to build that trust, but it takes a little while and we’re a little. 

[00:03:08] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And I’m, I’m someone who, who trusts very easily and I’ve learned that I have to, I have to dampen that down a bit. Like if I just trust everybody then and. Right, I’m going to be somebody’s, you know, Patsy, I’m going to be, I’m going to be taken advantage of.

[00:03:23] Steve Fretzin: And I think as we age, we start to learn what maybe our deficits are. And being too trusting is one of mine. So I start to like, you know, trust, but verify. And I try to make sure people are the real deal. And, and it takes time, but I, and I try to like, test them out sometimes with something that, you know, just as simple as, yeah.

[00:03:40] Steve Fretzin: Are they showing up on time? Are they canceling and rescheduling? Can they commit to something in, I don’t know if you guys are Seinfeld fans, but like the, the scene in the in the car rental, right? You took the reservation, but you didn’t keep the reservation and that’s the most important part, right?

[00:03:56] Steve Fretzin: And I think that’s what trust is to some degree. People can, can, you can believe they’re trustworthy, but then can they demonstrate it? 

[00:04:02] Josh Blum: Well, and, and that touches on a whole lot of what we talk about, you know, trust is, trust is multidimensional, Steve. And you’re talking about some of those table stakes develop trust.

[00:04:13] Josh Blum: And, and there’s certain things we can do, but, but building credibility is absolutely one of them. 

[00:04:17] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. So for everybody listening, we’ve got Josh Bloom and we’ve got Dr. Andre Caruso with us today. And Josh, why don’t we start with you? Just give a little bit of, a little bit of background on yourself so people know.

[00:04:28] Steve Fretzin: And you’re with your co founder of iVolv and Thrive. 

[00:04:32] Josh Blum: Yeah, Steve, Steve. Thanks. So actually doc and I are partners in two businesses together of all performance and development and evolve and thrive short, short history on myself. I grew up in a fortune 50 company, essentially spent about 11 years in external sales, working for a very large financial services company.

[00:04:48] Josh Blum: Generally that meant I was out on my own, essentially running my own franchise, if you will, for the company and responsible for upwards over half a billion dollars in sales in my career. Most of my work was wholesale, not retail, so I worked alongside the financial professional, their accountants, their attorneys, and help provide continuing education, training, and really assist with business development more so than not.

[00:05:12] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, thank you. Thank you. Doc? 

[00:05:15] Dr. Andre Caruso: I spent 20 years in the hospitality business, so the natural evolution there is to, you know, get your doctorate in psychologist, which I did. So I have a clinical degree in psychology, doctorate, and merging basically those 20 years of experience in working in the field with also the behavior and mindset background, so I really focus a lot on problem solving and the behavioral aspect of folks.

[00:05:40] Steve Fretzin: And you guys you know, have some, some experience working with lawyers and law firms and people in those, in the, in that professional service area. What are the common things that you see attorneys make as far as like mistakes that fail to allow them to gain trust? That could be in a networking scenario.

[00:05:57] Steve Fretzin: That could be in a client scenario. What are your thoughts on, on kind of mistakes that they make? 

[00:06:03] Josh Blum: I think 1 of the top mistakes I see attorneys make, especially in we’re going to look at this through the lens of developing trust is, is there too much on that? That mindset of counting the minutes. If that makes sense, they’re focused on their process and their process is very business like, which, which is fine from a, hey, are they competent?

[00:06:27] Josh Blum: Right? Are they showing up what you talked about earlier? But trust is a whole lot more than that. And if people don’t feel the warm and fuzzies, that stuff doesn’t matter. Most people say how I feel about you matters more than how competent I think you are when they’re looking at work with somebody. And so I see attorneys make that mistake frequently.

[00:06:47] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I think they get into the matter at hand, right? And, you know, I know if I had a room full of attorneys and I said, raise your hand if you like talk, talking and solving problems, like every hand would go up. So, so then where is the, the love, the trust, the, the likability, the things that need to happen at the beginning of a meeting, for example, to, to, to, to gain that trust.

[00:07:08] Steve Fretzin: So does doc any, any additional areas of, of missteps that you see lawyers make? 

[00:07:14] Dr. Andre Caruso: So along the same line, but the idea of not turning off the lawyer speak. Like they’re always in that lawyer mode, and then that just reminds everybody that they’re a lawyer constantly, which also reminds a lot of people how they feel about lawyers, which also takes away from some of that trust and likability.

[00:07:29] Dr. Andre Caruso: And if they tend to dial that down and just be a little bit more human and just have a normal conversation and not worry about always saying the exact right thing, they become more authentic and and more likable and build that trust. 

[00:07:41] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, and I think, I think what I’m seeing is that building likeability and trust needs to be something that’s thought about at the beginning of a relationship, beginning of a meeting, not something that happens or doesn’t happen.

[00:07:55] Steve Fretzin: Right? So, like, I’m just going to say to you, Josh hey, you know wow, the weather has been great. You know, and now let’s talk about the weather to build trust. I don’t know, to build likability. I don’t know, you know, or, you know, people mentioned my Michael Jordan jersey. You know, if I had a, I should put a little posted note on there that says 576 and people say, what’s that number?

[00:08:15] Steve Fretzin: 576. Oh, that’s how many times people have brought up the Michael Jordan jersey to me as a way to build relationship, you know, how about reading an article? How about doing a Google search? How about like thinking about who connected us? Like, aren’t there better ways to build trust? 

[00:08:30] Josh Blum: There are and talking about whether or how your weekend was is a really poor effort and most people know that nowadays we talk to people about this frequently as well.

[00:08:44] Josh Blum: You know, you go to a networking event, for example, you’re trying to business development, whatever it is. Chances are you can figure out who’s going to be there at a time. Chances are you can do your homework to say, I want to talk to this person, or this person looks really interesting, or they could be a great connection.

[00:08:59] Josh Blum: Doing a little bit of work up front makes the actual game of connecting with people so much easier, and it’s appreciated. Oh, you looked at my website? Really? I put a lot of effort and time into building that at that website. That’s wonderful. And now I feel a little bit more respected by you up front and that, that helps me develop trust.

[00:09:18] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Doc. 

[00:09:21] Dr. Andre Caruso: I think I know the same idea of just building that connection. You know, what we see a lot of the times is the walk over and hand your business card before you even get a words out and that business card tends to go into a pocket. That’s going to get thrown away later. 

[00:09:34] Steve Fretzin: You have 2 pockets, the keepers in the in the in the throwaways.

[00:09:37] Dr. Andre Caruso: Absolutely. So, you know, making your 1st impression. I think the misnomer is that even take seconds, but it’s really milliseconds. Because people are really identifying how they feel about you based on their own perception of you. So how, whatever you remind them of is kind of how they start to think about you even before you speak.

[00:09:56] Dr. Andre Caruso: Right? So they already have this perception of you. And that’s something you’re working past by what you’re saying first. Right, so if you, you know, reinforce any thought that they have about you in those first few seconds, it’s really hard to come back from that. You can, but it just takes a lot more effort, and a lot of people don’t even make the effort up front, so they’re definitely not going to make the effort on the back end.

[00:10:15] Dr. Andre Caruso: So, you know, making that first impression is very critical. 

[00:10:19] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, and I think being prepared is top of the list, but let’s say you’re in a networking event for, to your point that you’re, you know, there’s 50 people in a room and you’re, you’re walking around and pushing cards, which you shouldn’t do. What are a couple of good tips for first, good first impressions?

[00:10:35] Steve Fretzin: What do you guys recommend in in getting off on the right foot with someone that, that you’re literally meeting, you know, for the first time in a, in a, in an event? 

[00:10:42] Josh Blum: It’s incredible what good eye contact and a smile will accomplish it sounds so basic and trivial, but I’m not sure that there’s a more valuable way to approach somebody than just to make good eye contact and give a smile.

[00:10:58] Josh Blum: I will say I really do like to recommend if somebody’s walking into an event if they’re looking for somebody to connect with. Oftentimes, the person that’s off by themselves is the easiest person to connect with and they’re dying. For somebody to come talk to them, because they are probably lost at sea.

[00:11:13] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah. There’s just like, who, who can I talk to? And you’re like, who can I talk to? I’ll put two and two together. Right. Yeah. I’ll, I’ll give you a, a one add on tip. The people that have, and this is not always the case, but that have handwritten name badges, like they’re typically the people that are guesting just like you’re guesting or something.

[00:11:30] Steve Fretzin: And so like, they’re also like, they’re not being well chaperoned. They need, they need someone to talk to like you. So good stuff. Doc. 

[00:11:38] Dr. Andre Caruso: I think the same idea. I mean, you can get really into the weeds of like really reading body language and paying attention to see who’s looking around wanting to have that conversation.

[00:11:45] Dr. Andre Caruso: Like JB just said, but sometimes it’s just as simple as, Hey, how was your day? Right? Like just ask a normal question that you would ask your friend if you were sitting down at happy hour. 

[00:11:53] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. 

[00:11:54] Dr. Andre Caruso: Yeah. And just how, what’s going on? How was your day today? Is he a week ahead of you and just starting a normal conversation and taking that little angst away of, Oh, okay.

[00:12:02] Dr. Andre Caruso: I don’t have to explain exactly what I do right away. 

[00:12:04] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. I think 

[00:12:05] Dr. Andre Caruso: people also in those situations get tired of saying that over and over. 

[00:12:08] Steve Fretzin: Right. But what about, yeah, I mean, that, that’s one, and then the other is, you know, typically you walk up to someone at a network event and and you say you know what bring, is it, what brings you here today, or is it you know, is this, are you, you know, is this, is you a regular member of this, or are you a guest?

[00:12:22] Steve Fretzin: I’m a guest. What are you guys, any other additional things you’d recommend people say or ask when they walk up to somebody? 

[00:12:28] Josh Blum: I strongly recommend you never ask, what do you do? What do you do? I think it’s the worst possible question. And my personal response, anytime I get past that question, which is all the time, of course, is what do you mean personally, professionally for fun?

[00:12:43] Josh Blum: You know, what are we talking about here? And I do that almost as a, as a way to push back a little bit, because that just makes it so callous and so impersonal. All right. I love opening up with compliments, truly, you know, it is find something about the person that you can actually compliment whether it’s their style or, or, or something about them.

[00:13:07] Josh Blum: And if it’s genuine, it has to be genuine, right? You can’t just make up that translates, you know, people respond really normally to that. 

[00:13:15] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I think that’s, that’s like. You know, relationships 101 is if you can find anything to cop. So like I, like you mentioned earlier, I’m meeting with someone on zoom, but I saw their website ahead of time.

[00:13:26] Steve Fretzin: They had a really articulate video. And I’ll just bring that up as a, you know, had had some time on your website. Love the video that you had, you know, is that pretty recent? You did that and like getting them talking about something that maybe they’re proud of, or that maybe they weren’t sure was working, but I’m telling them it’s working.

[00:13:41] Steve Fretzin: And then I liked it. And then in the in person to be able to compliment a shirt, a hair, you know, hey, beer, nice beard. I mean, doc, anything to add on that as far as, you know, again, ways to build likeability and trust up front. 

[00:13:54] Dr. Andre Caruso: Absolutely. I think a couple of things. Now, remember, we’re all different, right?

[00:13:58] Dr. Andre Caruso: So as we’re even giving these, these tips, they’re going to hit it with some people and not the others, because even a compliment to the wrong person can go not the way you’re expecting. So that’s where that body language, paying attention comes back to. And I’d even be cautious with like you know, what brings you here and get someone like me, who’s a smart Alec.

[00:14:17] Dr. Andre Caruso: I’d be like, well, I’m here because I heard the soup’s good, right? 

[00:14:20] Steve Fretzin: Great soup. 

[00:14:21] Dr. Andre Caruso: But that’s a, a good way to kind of also bring down the, the nervousness of the other person with you. Right. So, you know, just really going back to building that connection. You know, if I was meeting with the, the lawyer whisperer for by any chance, I would, you know, have a lot of Seinfeld quotes online, right?

[00:14:38] Dr. Andre Caruso: Yeah. 

[00:14:38] Steve Fretzin: Get them ready. The guy I interviewed out that did my podcast would be a month ago, but he, he, when we were doing a photo shoot in his, in his studio and he was asking me Seinfeld trivia questions and I was nailing them one after another, after another. And he’s, he was very impressed with me, my Seinfeld knowledge.

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[00:16:58] Steve Fretzin: So we build some trust. We build some likability. What are some different dimensions of trust and why do they matter? What are, what are things that we need to, if we dissect it even further, Josh, where are we going with trust?

[00:17:10] Josh Blum: Well, most broadly, you talk about dissecting further, but I think most broadly trust is broken down into competency and benevolence competency being your ability to do something, which most attorneys I mean, if you’re an attorney, you’re probably scoring pretty high on competency. People are going to respect that.

[00:17:29] Josh Blum: You. You’d likely know what you’re doing, whether or not you do another story. But from the outside, looking in their perspective, it’s going to be you’re competent. You’re capable. You can do the job. The real question is, are you benevolent? Do you have my best interest in mind? And. That’s the other dimension of trust, which you could put under warm, right?

[00:17:50] Josh Blum: You could call it just warm. Do I believe you’re going to do right by me? That that’s where probably most attorneys are lacking, right? People don’t look at them and go, oh, you’re an idiot. They look at you and they go, oh, you’re cold or you’re distant or you’re clinical. None of which I really like, you know, I’m not sitting on a doctor’s table here.

[00:18:11] Josh Blum: You know, I, I, I, I want some warmth. I want to know you’re going to do right by me and Steve, I’ll, I’ll share part of that might be the. Attorneys need to be trustworthy, you know, or truthful. I should say not trustworthy. They need to be truthful. But that doesn’t mean they have to be fully honest, right?

[00:18:28] Josh Blum: Like, I have to tell the truth, but I don’t have to disclose everything. And most savvy people know that about attorneys. And unfortunately, I think that lends to some of that lack of warmth. Hey, I know, I know you’re smart. I just don’t know if you’re, you’re doing what’s in my best interest. 

[00:18:44] Steve Fretzin: And doc, I, I know you could probably touch on the personality, the behavior style of different people, but how does someone who’s maybe more clinical, like a personally like a patent attorney, an engineer, that’s very analytical, not very warm, but needs to maybe be warmer.

[00:19:04] Dr. Andre Caruso: It’s going to go back to one of my favorite soft skills, which is awareness, right? You have to be aware of your limitations, your strengths and the areas you need improvement. And if you know that you’re someone who tends to be more clinical, more logistical, and you tend to speak that way, you can play into that.

[00:19:20] Dr. Andre Caruso: You can use that as your strength but you have to be aware of how that’s going to come off. So, that’s where maybe some of that humor comes in, make a joke about it. Depending on your personality again on what best is going to fit for you. But you have to be aware that that’s one of your areas that you have to focus on when you’re out there working with it.

[00:19:38] Dr. Andre Caruso: Right. So if I know I’m going to be more buttoned up and more clinical and I’m going to play to that and I’m going to use that to my advantage, but I’m also going to make awareness that sometimes that might not be taken and received the way I’m hoping. 

[00:19:52] Steve Fretzin: I had someone say to me today this morning, a lawyer treat people the way they want to be treated or the way no treat people the way you want to be treated.

[00:19:59] Steve Fretzin: And I immediately went to, I don’t think that’s as appropriate as it used to be. I think it’s treat people the way they want to be treated. We need to identify how someone’s communicating, how someone’s body language is, how somebody wants to be communicated, and then it’s our responsibility to try to adapt to be more like them as a way of building trust and being likable.

[00:20:21] Steve Fretzin: You guys want to, Josh, you want to add on that? 

[00:20:24] Josh Blum: Absolutely, you know, you’re really talking a lot of ways about mirroring, right? You know, and the platinum rule versus the golden rule, golden rule is do until there’s a way you want to be treated the platinum rule being, hey, I’m going to treat them the way they want to be treated, which really is how we should be trying to treat people.

[00:20:41] Josh Blum: It’s not about us. It’s about them. And when we put people 1st, good things happen. It does come down to mirroring. If somebody is talking in a certain way, there is a valid benefit to speaking in the same way they are. That could be tonality. That could be speed of speech. That could be language that you use.

[00:21:01] Josh Blum: You know, there’s certain people that are going to be, you know, real salt to the earth. And there are other people that would be very academic. And now they talk, there’s a lot of benefit to adjusting how you communicate. To make the other person more comfortable and that is always well received by people, even if it’s intentional, people are very accepting of that.

[00:21:22] Josh Blum: You’re making an effort to to really meet me where I am. That’s powerful. I 

[00:21:29] Steve Fretzin: mean, I’m paying attention to asking questions so that I can get them talking to not only build trust because I’m listening, but also I’m picking up on the cues and maybe you can talk to this doc. You know, I’m listening for, are they talking about people?

[00:21:43] Steve Fretzin: Are they talking about things? How are they communicating to me and they’re in their storytelling about their morning or their weekend or whatever happened that I might be able to mirror back to them? 

[00:21:53] Dr. Andre Caruso: I think the first thing I want to say is my absolute favorite soft skill is empathy, and it’s also one of the most misdefined words out there.

[00:22:01] Dr. Andre Caruso: Empathy at its core really just means knowing that people are different than us, and that it’s okay. We don’t have to agree with them, we don’t have to accept it, we don’t have to co sign them, we don’t have to do any of those things, we just have to understand that people are different, and that’s okay.

[00:22:12] Dr. Andre Caruso: So when you go into the conversation with that empathy, it puts you in the mindset of, I actually want to hear what they’re going to say, and I’m not going to have a judgment on it. Because I understand that’s just them, and it doesn’t mean anything about me, it just means what’s about them. And that gives us the opportunity to identify and actually do some of the other skills, like active listening, to see what they’re actually saying, paying attention to that body language, doing the mirroring.

[00:22:37] Dr. Andre Caruso: If you don’t have that good baseline of being open to receive, because again, we’re making our judgments on people right away, right? So if we, some stuff we can’t even control, it’s just, you know, subconscious, someone reminds you of somebody, you’re gonna, you know, Associate that person with that other person, even if they have nothing to do with them.

[00:22:54] Dr. Andre Caruso: So we have these built in predeterminations of people before they even say a word. So when you can go in with some of that empathy and understanding that, hey, you’re just your own person that opens up the ability to hear what they’re saying and then making an actual judgment on how much further you want to go with that.

[00:23:09] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, and how important is it to connect on something? So, for example, you know, josh, you’ve got a picture of it. I’m just this is an observation, but like a picture of your child on your shoulders, right? Mhm. I have a teenager because of that observation or the conversation we’re having, how important is that to like talk about our kids and how crazy they are at these different ages and how they evolve and all that as a way to build a tighter bond of trust versus talking about You know, you’re into travel and I’m not, but that’s what we’re taught.

[00:23:40] Steve Fretzin: That’s what I’m talking to you about. Finding that common ground. Is that, is that a huge part of it? Small part of it? 

[00:23:46] Josh Blum: Yeah, that’s the picture that came with the frame. 

[00:23:48] Steve Fretzin: There we go. How’d you get that job? I see. You must be a male model then. Merman 

[00:23:54] Josh Blum: merman. If you’re a Ben Stiller, Zoolander fan yeah.

[00:23:59] Josh Blum: Trust. Kind of starts with rapport. I’m not going to build trust until I develop rapport with somebody. And one of the easiest ways to build rapport is finding something to connect on. Doesn’t need to be big, but, you know, the little things are a good starting point. The more meaningful something you can connect on, the, the much more.

[00:24:20] Josh Blum: Rapidly, you’re going to build that rapport and find that you you’ve opened up the door to to developing trust quickly, but you can start small. Certainly, you know, talk about family is easy. Most people love their family and care about it. So it’s a it’s an easy talking point to start with. 

[00:24:36] Dr. Andre Caruso: Yeah, we like things that we have in common with people.

[00:24:39] Dr. Andre Caruso: Not generally a big fan of labels, but we label things a lot of times just so that we can see where we stand with other people, what other things they have in common. And you know, if anyone follows any kind of sports, even if you don’t, you probably are aware of like the Red Sox Yankees relationship among their fans.

[00:24:56] Dr. Andre Caruso: And you can actually go into some of these places and have some best friends that might be on the opposing teams. One’s rooting for the Yankees, one’s rooting for the Red Sox. And they will become friends with someone else in the room that’s rooting for the same team more than their own friend that they came with in that moment because of that bond.

[00:25:13] Dr. Andre Caruso: And so when you can create some sort of connection with someone, it’s gonna help build that idea of trust even if it is just that subconscious thought of that connection, right? So, the idea of finding those common grounds is very helpful. Because it will create that idea that, Oh, you’re, you’re on my team.

[00:25:32] Steve Fretzin: And at what point does common ground become one upsmanship because you’re, someone might say, they’ve got, you know, three kids and they’re talking about their kids. And then I jump in and I start talking about how great my kids are. And they just went, you know, Harvard, Yale and whatever. I, you know, I’m not, I’m not making this up, but you get the, like, at some point is that, Then turn someone off because where, where it might’ve been some common ground around family.

[00:25:58] Steve Fretzin: Now it’s almost competitive or it’s turned into maybe something that, that could turn someone off. Josh, what do you think? 

[00:26:04] Josh Blum: There’s always a balance, Steve, with sharing and getting into the one up manship. It’s pretty common to see you, you want to be able to share and, and establish a connection. That doesn’t mean you want to take over or, or disempower somebody because of that commonality.

[00:26:26] Josh Blum: I don’t know that there’s a, there’s a right way to, to manage to that, except. It likely comes down to a good self awareness, not just self awareness. Do I do this? But self awareness is how is this being perceived by this other person, whether or not I’m intending to do it or not? And that breakdown happens quite a bit.

[00:26:48] Josh Blum: The external self awareness versus the internal. 

[00:26:51] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I think I heard a comedian say, like, someone’s told them their story and then the guy, the guy jumped and goes, oh, that ain’t nothing. And then tells his story. It’s like, boom, like, that just ruined the entire, you know, guys. He’s like, all right, well, I guess I’m meaningless and I need to go.

[00:27:05] Steve Fretzin: You want to come up on stage? I need to go crawl under, crawl under a table at this point. Doc thoughts on this? 

[00:27:11] Dr. Andre Caruso: Yeah, and I think JB hit it there with the awareness piece, especially, right? I’m going to go back to my favorite saying, more than one thing being true is because people are different again.

[00:27:19] Dr. Andre Caruso: So some people are going to admire that both of your kids went to Harvard and see that as a positive thing. A beautiful thing. And then some other people, maybe if they’re more competitive, we’ll start to see that as, okay, now why not some ship. And you really don’t know in that situation until you’re actually having that conversation.

[00:27:34] Dr. Andre Caruso: So that’s where I think the awareness is very important. See what kind of reaction they’re giving you. If all of a sudden they start to close off, then you can quickly change that back to, Oh, I, you can imagine how hard it is to raise kids, right? Like you can bring it back to something that they can have that common ground on.

[00:27:49] Dr. Andre Caruso: And, but you have to be aware of what the other person is giving you. And to how to react to that, it might be different. 

[00:27:56] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And it might go back to just. Be careful what you say because you don’t know how someone’s going to respond because someone’s, you know, very anti Harvard because they’re, you know, they’re, they’re seeing on the news that they’re, you know, pro this or anti that or whatever.

[00:28:13] Steve Fretzin: And now you’re in this whole other, not relationship building conversation about, you know, how awful Harvard is or how great a Harvard is. And so that’s something, so I think just be careful what you say. You’re almost better off asking questions and being an active listener and empathy to your point, Josh.

[00:28:28] Steve Fretzin: Then trying to talk too much. I think the other piece that I do want to wrap up on this is when you’re listening and demonstrating empathy and taking in information, then you’re better qualifying. And I hate to use that word in the sense of networking, but we do have to qualify. Is this person for me or not?

[00:28:44] Steve Fretzin: Is this person relevant to me from a business perspective, personal perspective? You know, likability perspective. And so I think that’s, that’s another value of listening versus talking, Josh, 

[00:28:56] Josh Blum: until you get to that person that doesn’t shut up and , throw it. No, they’re 

[00:29:01] Steve Fretzin: not good then, but yeah, then you gotta cut ’em off and I gotta hit the ba, hit the bathroom and then you’re, you’re get get out of there.

[00:29:08] Steve Fretzin: I get that. I get that. Doc wrapping up on that. 

[00:29:11] Dr. Andre Caruso: So I’ll wrap up everything we were just saying, kind of in this idea to when you’re making and building this trust while your goal is to look at the other person and hear what they’re saying. Most people’s own goal is self preservation, right? So if you are having that conversation, you’re building that trust.

[00:29:26] Dr. Andre Caruso: Remember when you give a referral or you’re suggesting somebody they’re coming back. As you’re the person that did that, right? So if they have good experience, that’s great. If they have bad experience, they’re not mad at that person. They’re mad at you for referring them. So building that idea of trust when you’re having these conversations, people are really looking at it as their own self preservation.

[00:29:48] Dr. Andre Caruso: And protection because that is part of the defense like we talked about in the very beginning So just keep that in mind as you’re going out there and building these ideas that people are still protecting themselves Yeah in their reputation 

[00:29:59] Steve Fretzin: spot on spot on. Hey guys, wrapping up with the game changing book or podcast And I think it’s a book today start with why is that a simon sinek 

[00:30:07] Josh Blum: it is Yeah, it absolutely is just happens to be one of our favorites Yeah, some of his values and just kind of understanding the reason behind what we do is, is really powerful.

[00:30:20] Josh Blum: Most of what we talk about it is soft skills. You know, it’s understanding ourselves. It’s being better able to understand somebody else and where they’re coming from whether it’s self awareness or, or empathy. And so that book just really speaks to each of us highly recommended as a read for anybody who hasn’t had the chance yet.

[00:30:37] Steve Fretzin: Doc, 

[00:30:37] Dr. Andre Caruso: any 

[00:30:38] Steve Fretzin: thoughts? 

[00:30:38] Dr. Andre Caruso: Just, and remember everyone else, everyone’s why is their own. So don’t look at any of these books as, as gospel, they’re just tools to kind of take from. So the key is finding your why and what, what that’s going to be for you. And that’s different for all of us. 

[00:30:52] Steve Fretzin: Awesome. Awesome. Hey guys, as we wrap up, we’re thanking our wonderful sponsors.

[00:30:55] Steve Fretzin: Of course, Laumatics, Get Staffed Up and Green Cardigan Marketing, all phenomenal friends and partners of the show. And if people want to get in touch with you, they want to hear more about iVolve and Thrive. They want to hear, you know, soft skills, closed deals, all that kind of fun stuff. Josh, what’s the best best way for them to reach you too?

[00:31:12] Josh Blum: They can reach us right on our website, jbandthedoctor. com, all spelled out, super easy. They could also find us on social media at jbandthedoctor. We have our own podcast, the Get Fed podcast, they could listen to us there. We’re not quite at 400 episodes or so, but we’re just about at 200. So we, we’ve been doing that quite a while.

[00:31:33] Josh Blum: And we’re, although we’re very active on social media, people should be able to find us if they’re looking for us. 

[00:31:38] Steve Fretzin: Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you both for being on the show, sharing your wisdom, helping us understand the ins and outs of building trust and relationships. I think it’s at the cornerstone of everything that lawyers need to do to be successful in their careers.

[00:31:51] Steve Fretzin: So just thanks again. I really appreciate you two sharing all that. 

[00:31:55] Josh Blum: Steve, happy to join you. 

[00:31:56] Dr. Andre Caruso: Thanks for having us. 

[00:31:58] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, 

[00:31:58] Dr. Andre Caruso: thanks that the lawyer whisper is amazing. So I’m gonna go have some serenity now. 

[00:32:02] Steve Fretzin: Serenity now, that is it. Or no soup for you. Whatever you want to take from it. Hey everybody, you’re getting some Seinfeld information today.

[00:32:11] Steve Fretzin: You’re getting some great ideas on trust and relationship building from, from two experts on the subject. And you know, again, this is, this is just the another opportunity to be that lawyer with Fretzin, someone who’s helping you to be confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Take care, everybody.

[00:32:26] Steve Fretzin: Be safe. Be well. We will talk again soon.

[00:32:32] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website, Fretzin. com, for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and information Important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.