A reflection of a wonderful video by Brené Brown on Trust and the anatomy of how one aquires or loses this vital commodity in relationships. An acronym : BRAVING : to define that anatomy. Read More

It was just a short You Tube on Trust, but profound and full of takeaways. Here’s my dressing on her salad….

She started with Charles Feltman and a quote : “Trust is defined as choosing to risk making something – which you value – vulnerable to another person’s actions.” She obviously resonated because he used ‘vulnerable’, haha.

For me, I would rather : “Trust is my personal scale of comfort measuring how well I know you – it is my level of ease or unease, based upon the information revealed, when I take a risk and make something, which is valuable to me, vulnerable to your actions”.

For me : “Distrust is the bad end of my scale of comfort – that which I have shared with you, which is valuable to me, is not safe with you”. Not quite how she put it, haha.

I kinda think, it might go a bit deeper than that – I am hopeful that my distrust is a bit faster off the mark, and I chose not to share….

Johari’s Window – do you see the façade, which they intentionally reveal to you, or are you able to see beyond…. How comfortable are you…. How close are you….

Then Brené drew upon her research and put up an acronym to describe the elements, the makeup, of trust: BRAVING. She’s got six points in her ‘anatomy’ of Trust. Feltman had four (I think). She often says, when she isn’t satisfied, she gets on and researches, realigns, redefines…. I like it!! She always makes you ponder.

B  oundaries               

Your engagement with this person or group – it has context and boundaries. You determine your level of trust within boundaries that may be declared, or assumed. Your level of trust changes with setting and group (and time – she didn’t introduce time, which I would like to bring out all the way through this article).

So : You, (the other party), are clear about your own boundaries in our relationship, and expect them to be respected. This is reciprocated – you are clear about my (me) boundaries in this relationship and are respectful of them.

I am trying to think how it works for these boundaries to operate differently, not be aligned – surely there is going to be disaster if boundaries are not aligned, and that happens all the time. Time and trust. Boundaries change or are revealed as a masquerade.

A clean example, perhaps, is the confidentiality agreement – everything I hear and see and know about you is confidential to me, but…. if I think you might be seriously harmed or cause harm or place juveniles at risk, I will check in with you, but I may report it to higher authorities without your permission. There’s my boundary on confidentiality. If it’s not spoken out clearly, there can be a misconception that entirely everything is going to remain confidential – whatever is shared.

R  eliability    

You do what you say you are going to do – all the time. It’s got two parts – you do it right, you do it every time when it is expected of you – choir practice starts at 7pm sharp every Monday. (There’s that time element again)

If it’s weighing scales, it’s reliable if the measure on the scale is accurate, and repeatable – for the same weight – it gives the same answer, every time; it doesn’t vary; it’s consistent.

To be reliable, we need to be careful when we commit or declare what we are going to do and when. Overstating our intentions will take away our ability to deliver reliably. We lose points, even in the conversation, when it is an promise in which our body language is not entirely convincing in completing.

But you can give a commitment where there is a flexible range of outcomes – I’ll get there between 1pm and 1-30pm, will that be ok. If something goes wrong, I’ll phone you. Be within the range of your ability to deliver with a fall back perhaps.

A  ccountability        

She put this one in the negative : “If you make a mistake – own it. Apologise for it; make amends. I need to be able to make mistakes, but I must acknowledge them with you”.

It was in my reliability comment – if I can’t make it on time, like I said I would, then (if, then) I will phone you. I will have a good reason why I can’t make it, and it won’t be habitual – it will be out of character; it won’t happen often.

It is reasonable that I am held accountable for the things that I say, and the things that I do. It is reasonable that my explanations, when they are needed, are consistent with the values and boundaries held within our relationship.

I always loved this problem : The Board comes along and fires the CEO. He/She takes the fall. They appoint a new CEO. Hey!! Wait a minute!! Weren’t you the crazy people who voted for the first CEO to be appointed? So what is it about you now, that I should trust you to make a good decision this time? Was the problem with the first CEO or the Board? How come they still got their bonus? Accountability…

V  ault                       

What I share with you – you will hold in confidence.

What you share with me – I will hold in confidence.

If I share other people’s private stories – it’s gossip. If I share other people’s public stories, and (if, and, then) it is going to cause harm – then it’s still gossip. Respect my story, but respect other people’s stories too.

What’s the problem? If I can share stuff about other people in your presence – am I capable of sharing your personal stuff outside of your presence?

I need to witness your confidentiality at work.

In  tegrity      

Practising our values – not just professing our values. Simple as that really.

Brené pushed judgmentalism into this, and vulnerability. I prefer them in Generosity…. But then she’s the boss on this stuff haha!! She had a couple of nuggets :

    • Courage over comfort;
    • Right over fun, fast and easy;

I got one :

    • Being right but not helpful….

Problems : values are often assumed, and stereo-typed. We can be theatrical – we play up to the assumed expectations of the group. Johari’s Window again, the façade I want you to see. I expect you to have my values. I measure you against my values – and then I discover…. The time element again…. You get a measure of grace associated with my trust. Time will tell….

G  enerosity  

A wonderful insight of Trust : I will assume the most generous conclusion for every one of your actions, behaviours, communications, and the associated gossip of others about you. Then I will check in with you directly – to test my generosity.

How does that work. Well, if you screw up; if you say something silly; if you do something silly; if a report comes in from elsewhere which indicates your silliness; then I will grant, by my grace, my most generous interpretation – and decline to draw conclusion – until I come and talk to you about it. Not answering calls; not communicating is not a solution.

Generosity cannot be foolishness or stupidity. Generosity is based upon past experience; upon the source of information; upon circumstances. Trust is demonstrated by it, until tested. It involves grace – the evidence is against you. You am accused; but I refuse to condemn until tested. Generosity, could imply reserving judgment, not forgoing judgment, which is, if you are careful in reading, exactly biblical.

The End….

This is all very long. But it has purpose.

Trust is about my risk assessment of you, and the ever changing conclusion of my comfort to share my things of value to me – with you. In any mutually beneficial relationship, the desire for Trust will prevail. We are not perfect beings (at least all the ones I come across, including me) – so in order to be able to grow our relationships, we should articulate and work through our Trust issues and concerns. The ability to mutually understand what Trust means, how to gain it, how to lose it – there you have it. Trust influences our willingness to offer ourselves vulnerable, our ability to love, to grow deeper friendships, our ability to work together, and play together.

A wonderful Brené teaching!! Thank you. Hope I didn’t mess it too much with my plugin’s.

Overshadowing this thing is ‘knowing’ and context and time. How well do I really know you and your Johari Window? And beyond that, how much, or in what context, is the scope of my ‘self’ that I am willing to risk sharing with you?

All this for a couple of minutes of YouTube. You want the real thing? It’s in my YouTube, I think, haha. You’ll search it elsewhere easy anyway haha.

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