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I was in a workshop on “Building Authentic Trust” last Friday. I learned that this workshop was less on “trust” and more on our ability to create trust. This was quite a refreshing perspective.

I recalled one coaching session I had. My client complained about his group lacking trust and the tendency of people on the team to go solo and claim credit for any achievements. At the time, we talked about the value of trust and team work, but we didn’t address his ability to create trust. Is it even possible for him to create trust alone? In biology, structure determines function. Does this apply to human organizations? When a culture of trust is not in place, can an individual against all odds turn the situation around?

By age 3, children have already developed an internal map of how relationships work and the map is being constantly modified through our lives. In his book The Thin Book of Trust, Charles Feltman wrote, “Trust is fundamental to our sense of safety, autonomy and dignity as human beings. It is also an internal part of every relationship we have.” Trusting and the ability to create trusting relationships are rooted at a young age. Through intentional personal growth work, we can modify our internal maps consciously. Through our working environments and other relationships, we can modify our maps unconsciously. Without clarity of this process, we can fall victim to the toxicity of our environments.

The digital world adds another twist into our conversation about trust. We trust people’s endorsements and opinions on products and services more than the words from the businesses that provide the products and services.  Yes, commercials do influence us, but we trust the testimonials and reviews of other consumers whose interests are similar to ours. Therefore, an individual’s or business’ social media reputation is based on trust.

What is your thoughts about trust? What is your ability to build trust?


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