The Matter of Trust



  • What’s our problem? (0:45)

  • What’s the solution? (2:45)

  • If those are our questions, what are our choices? (4:16)

  • Without trust, what happens? (6:05)

  • Until we fully trust ourselves… (7:35)

The Matter of Trust

“Why didn’t anybody tell me sooner?!”
“Nobody told me.”
“When did that get decided?”
“Well, I certainly don’t feel heard in this decision-making process…”

I hear these frustrated remarks in so many of the situations when I’m working with clients whose organization is going through change, and I also hear them in engagements with family and friends.

What’s our problem?

In this day and age, information is moving at the speed of light. Situations and circumstances are constantly evolving, creating, and recreating themselves faster than any of us can keep up.

What may have appeared to be a fully formed and ready to announce decision at 9:00 AM can become a completely turned upside-down and inside-out decision by 9:30, and anyone who is not in the room or privy to the conversation when new info starts getting added in, can feel left behind, left out, or unheard.

All of those things have a history of damaging our ego, instilling fear or vulnerability, and emotionally triggering us.

The solution is not what many organizations – or relationships – go to. The common go-to is to spend hours demanding to know all the shifts and turns that impacted how the decision got from point A to point B or retooling communication strategies: How do we communicate? How do we deliver information? How do we make sure everybody is involved? Or explaining and apologizing.

But while their focus is on those actions – guess what? More changes are happening. More opportunities are being missed, and necessary adjustments to that firm 9:00 decision aren’t occurring.

What’s the solution?

The solution is for each of us to reorient ourselves around the idea of trust. With that in mind, the questions to ask yourself are:

  • How can I trust those with the information to make the right decision based on what they’re learning and experiencing?

  • How do I trust decisions made even when I’m not in the room or not part of the conversation?

  • How can I trust that I will be informed at the exact moment that it is optimal and valuable to share the information?

  • How can I trust that if I’m not in the discussion or problem-solving action, it means that there are more important things that need my time, my skills, and my attention?

  • How can I steady myself and be fluid with turbulence and uncertainty all around me?

And my favorite question…

  • What is the beauty in not knowing?

If those are our questions, what are our choices?

In these times of rapid change and flux, we really have just four choices:

  1. Expect and demand that the pace of change adjust so that my ego is nurtured and my fears are relieved.

  2. Accept the pace of change, and trust that each person on my team or in my family or social circle will respond and react the absolute best they can, and for the good of the whole, even in my absence.

  3. Move on to relationships or work situations where the pace of change is more aligned with my ability to trust myself and others.

  4. Explore your own relationship with trust.

Each one of those choices has consequences, but regardless of which one you choose, choice four is the most critical. Never more than now has a sense of trust been required for navigating our lives. The given is that things are morphing, changing, moving, and innovating at speeds we have never experienced before...

But without trust, you are at risk of being viewed as resistant, difficult, or slow to change. Without trust, you run the risk of damaging relationships. Without trust, you risk disempowering others and being experienced as someone who is micromanaging or controlling.

The importance of self-trust

The key thing for you to ponder is this truth: difficulty trusting others always grows out of fear of trusting yourself.

To explore your self-trust, ask yourself these questions:

  • How is my mistrust of others really just a reflection of a lack of trust in myself?

  • Do I trust myself to make the right choices for the good of the whole?

  • Do I trust myself to make decisions that result in caring for myself and choosing what is best for me?

  • Do I have confidence in my value?

  • Do I believe I am worthy?

Until we fully trust ourselves, we are unable to trust others.

The reflection questions can be used for journal writing or general self-reflection.

I encourage you to view what makes you uncomfortable with rapid change, innovation, transformation or even decision-making that you don’t get to be part of. View it through the lens of trust and practice giving the trust to yourself that you wish you were able to give others and that others would give to you.


p.s. Are you dealing with distrust, drama, and chaos in your workplace? Well, if you are, you're not alone. There’s a great deal of uncertainty and confusion in the world, and it's instilling fear and vulnerability in people, as well as pushing their emotional buttons. If you feel your organization is being left out or left behind because it can't effectively navigate change, contact me. Let’s get together and dig below the apparent symptoms to uncover the real concerns, and build a plan to increase the forward movement of your team or organization.