There is no trust!
“There is no trust! Can you help us with that?” That is usually the first thing a person says to me when describing their challenging work environment. And yes, there are hundreds of tools, techniques, trainings and books that are specifically designed to increase trust – especially in the workplace. Many of those are extremely valuable, but none of them are where I choose to begin my work – especially if you are seeking long-term, sustainable results.
Why? Because in work and in life, trust for others can only be built on a bedrock of self-awareness and trust for self.
If I ask each person who is part of the trustless environment if they are trustworthy, each will answer “yes”. Why? We all have blind spots.
Research supports that unless we are consciously striving to increase self-awareness, we are prone to self-blindness and operate with self-serving bias about our role as part of the problem. In other words, we have an inherent tendency to look outward instead of inward.
Before attempting to build trust within a team or group, I recommend self-reflection and exploration to get familiar with who you are in relationship to trust.
- What has your experience been in making positive decisions for yourself?
- How effective and comfortable are you in setting boundaries and communicating your needs?
- How do you know when you are experiencing trust (what does it look like, sound like and feel like)?
- How do others know when you are extending trust (what is your trust language)?
- How much do you trust yourself to make effective decisions, protect and care for yourself, maintain boundaries and take positive risks?
My loving parents were very quick to take actions to keep me from hurt or disappointment. They were fast to solve my problems for me – sometimes before I even knew I had them. For many years I thought that I didn’t trust others. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to understand that I simply didn’t trust myself. Simply because I didn’t have much experience in trusting my own abilities so how could I trust others? I didn’t have a deep pool of experience because my parents had provided this service for me for years. It was such a huge ah-ha for me to learn that my controlling behaviors stemmed not from a lack of trust in others but because I hadn’t developed my own relationship with trust!
Most of us at one time or another have extended trust and been hurt. On the outside we know exactly who to blame – the other! But what may happen on the inside is that we chastise ourselves and lose trust in ourselves. On an unconscious, or sometimes conscious level, our relationship with self trust becomes the challenging one.
So what are we to do?
I look for evidence that I can trust myself. And since I’ve been around for more than half a century and am still standing, I’m pretty trustworthy. I think about decisions I have made that turned out really well. And reflect on what I’ve learned and implemented from decisions that are less than stellar. I give myself credit for how I’ve cared for myself in order to get me where I am today. I celebrate my understanding of what I need and establish healthy boundaries to protect that. And I've come to recognize who I authentically am and my values. I acknowledge where have I trusted myself and it has served me well.
Are you experiencing a lack of trust? Are you perhaps a tad controlling because you can’t trust others? Do you spend your time looking outward at others’ trustworthiness and make it mean more than it has too? Perhaps it is time to take stock in your relationship with trust!
The foundation for a trusting environment exists. It is within each of us. The key to increasing trust wherever you are is to start within!
I have two slots open for one-to-one coaching by phone or Skype! Would you like one to be your’s? This doesn’t happen often!
- Explore areas where you feel held back.
- Connect to your authenticity, passion and purpose.
- Question thinking errors, patterns of behavior, assumptions or expectations that just may be sidetracking you.
- Be supported and guided as your strategize ways to move forward.
What others say: “Beth not only stands in the fire with me, but she has stood in the fire herself!”
What you get: 2 sessions per month with anytime access for spot checks by phone, email or text.