Today we had a seminar at work on The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. We discussed the issue of trust, and I gained some very interesting perspective.
We often consider trust as something earned or that a person must have strong qualities to be trusted. We think that proven accomplishments over time is what establishes trust. However, that is a semantic game. What this describes is not trust, but responsibility and reputation.
Oddly enough, trust is not about being strong; trust is about sharing vulnerabilities. So to earn trust from another person, one must actually be weak rather than strong, open up and share fears or failures, explain trials or difficulties and be genuinely human.
Counter-intuitive as it seems at first, stop and think about it. We all know of someone who goes to painstaking effort to appear strong, to hide his or her weaknesses, and cover up their mistakes. At the end of all that, what opinion do we form? That they are shifty, sneaky, fake – and should not be trusted.
However, when someone shares a story of difficulty where they were hurt and struggled, how they suffered through a trying time or about a lacking skill he or she is trying to improve…what do we think then? Usually, it is along the lines of “Wow…that person is so honest with their own personal life” – and we conclude he or she is someone we can trust.
So, as I have overly stated this past month, I have been through an awful lot. The result of so much of this has become a barrier from trust built up around me. It’s so surprising I would have trust issues out of everything; right?
However, today was huge for me. I don’t want to have trust issues, and I want to move past them. I no longer want to focus on the problems or define what I’ve suffered. I am ready for recovery, and I need to build trust again. So, it was a wonderful revelation to me how trust really works. I feel confident that I can rebuild myself and trust in others not by trying to become “strong” again, but rather by sharing and connecting with others, admitting my wrongs and allowing myself to be vulnerable.
It won’t happen quickly. It won’t happen overnight. But it will happen as I continue to be honest, be loyal and be real.