Developing a currency of trust
I come across trust as an issue in so many areas where I am engaged as a facilitator or coach.
Trust lies at the heart of all effective relationships, whether in couples, families, executive leadership teams or working groups.
A definition of trust states: "Trust is a choice to be available, vulnerable and transparent in a relationship, because the person you're trusting has proven worthy of your partnership through consistency in their honesty, integrity and dependability.”
In using this definition, at the heart of trust then lies courage. That courage is vulnerability. Vulnerability is the state of being open to injury or appearing as if you are. It's a willingness to expose yourself to potential harm from another or others and, in tying it to trust, without fear of that happening.
That's a pretty powerful place to operate from and, from what I observe in many relationships, often lacking to some degree.
When I ask "What is it that you fear in not trusting?” the answer is often centred in what could happen. Someone would say "Oh, if I give them that knowledge they might do ...”, or "I keep that separate, I really don't feel comfortable talking like that or being that open ...” and then it comes to "Last time I did that someone made me look like a fool and used it against me”. How sad that people are making a choice to not trust based on that fear.
How can any relationship truly function at its best if communication is already strangled by distrust, fear and ultimately dishonesty?
If you are being distrusting, then you are not trusting yourself. In order for trust to flourish you need to have the courage and take the time to work on your relationship with yourself and, once that relationship is a loving one, then you can offer trust and be trustworthy for others.
Ego is a dirty word in a trusting relationship. Seeing everyone as equal and acting to support the needs of all concerned, including yourself, allows for open and honest dialogue even when (or perhaps especially when) there is conflict or disagreement. How conflict is worked through is a great test for both the truth of a relationship and the level of trusting respect in a relationship.
A loving heart, openness, honesty - even when it may hurt, a willingness to learn by communicating with care, and a genuine desire for connection without sacrificing yourself, all support your choice when you give trust.
As the quote goes: "Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Nick Bennett is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned: mindsaligned.com.au