JKLTip Do you try your best show vulnerability to people you want to trust you?
Girl letting heart balloon into the air showing vulnerability and trust.
Be Vulnerable

The absence of trust makes it very difficult to move forward as a community. It is rare to build trust in its purest form, not unicorn rare, but at least shooting star rare. I’ve experienced it maybe five times. I’ve seen the opposite many times. Yet, it’s a cliche to the point that if you Google “company values” you will see many organizations list ‘trust’ as foundational to their business. So what exactly is going on?

With Trust, members show vulnerability and constructive feedback, accountability without having to think about it. Things like “I screwed up”; “I don’t know but let’s figure it out”; “I’m sorry I screwed up” are commonplace. An appreciation that something may, or may not work out and that none of us has the best answer. We never know what the results will be and we don’t stress about them because we know intrinsically that we all have strengths, weaknesses, good days and bad.

We put up walls to working with people that create anxiety, but trust allows us to get over the walls and do great things. The way to get over this wall is by showing our hearts, letting our guard down and being vulnerable with each other. With less anxiety surrounding relationships we are free to learn from failure, to self sacrifice, never sweat the small stuff, and pick each other up. Ultimately we are free to build and create.

Practical steps that need to be better understood:
1. Trust needs to be explicit learned and practiced regularly
2. Trust is not task competency based
3. Trust takes empathy (not the fake kind, actually understanding people)
4. Trust building is not easy, or simple, it can get messy and painful
5. Trust can be built quickly, or it can take a long time
6. The more skilled individuals are at building it, the more effective the team will be at creating an atmosphere of Trust
7. One person, or one incident can ruin the entire team’s Trust

One of the difficulties I see surrounding the concept is that everyone wants it, yet few actually have it. I can’t even count the number of times that someone has asked me, “what should we do to improve our team?” I reply “Going back to the basics of building trust before it’s too late”. They proceed to say something to the effect of “no, our people trust each other already”. It happens over and over again in schools, businesses, sports teams, relationships.

So what do we do about it?
That takes a much deeper dive into overcoming the seven points above and how to counteract them specific to your situation. The next step is very different from team to team and position to position. Either way, it starts with looking at yourself, within your group, or hiring a consultant. If you are a leader within a group, start by showing honesty, vulnerability and letting your guard down.

How does it fit into my personal value journey?
Well for one, I know there is not much that’s a “big deal”. Every step I take throughout the work I do I will build trust by being a good listener, being a person of my word, but most importantly while I make mistakes I will be vulnerable. I will try to maintain that I am never intimidating, because I know that I am lifetimes away from having this figured out. We are always just getting a bit better, that’s all we can do. That and continue to build trust.

* This is Day 2 of Values, Check out Day 1 Here: TRUTH

** A lot of people have asked about contributing to 8 Billion People Project, come check it out At: 8 Billion People Project

*** Feel free to join our conversations at Justin Nolan Twitter


teambuilding, Trust, vulnerability

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