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Trust

“Trust is built in very small moments.” Brene’ Brown


“A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other.” Simon Sinek


“Trust is necessary in all relationships.” John Maxwell


“Nothing is as fast as the speed of trust.” Stephen Covey


There is nothing as elusive, frustrating and simple as trust. Build trust and you will have a high-functioning, fast-moving team. Seems like such a simple task. Trust isn’t soft and easy, rather it’s elusive and hard to attain and manage. As Brene’ Brown says, trust is attained in the small moments, and it can also be broken in those same small moments.


I listened to a podcast with Charles Feltman, author of The Thin Book of Trust. He defines trust as “choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions.” To whom will I be vulnerable enough with to trust them with what I value? Where have I lost trust because of my actions and when have I not trusted someone?


A few years ago, I lost a friend because of what I thought was a private conversation with a workmate. A couple of days after that conversation, my friend stopped communicating with me and hasn’t since. I knew something was wrong because voicemails and text messages went unanswered. I cherished that friendship as it was someone I worked with, and we have known each other for over 20 years. Though what I said was true, it was painful to my friend and trust was compromised because I shared it with someone else. I’ve thought a lot about that conversation and regret how that came about. I wish I could have handled that differently. That small moment changed the trajectory of our friendship.


Trust with a team can make big things happen. I’ve built YMCA’s in four stops in my career and I didn’t do it alone. I built trust with my team and within those communities to make great things happen. Each relationship depended on trust, open communication and a shared vision of what the possibilities were in those communities. It’s something I can look back on with pride, knowing that it took a team to make those visions come true.


Charles Feltman breaks trust into four areas:

  1. Care – you have the other person’s interest in mind as well as your own. People who know and see you hold their interest as important as yours, will move mountains for you.

  2. Sincerity – you are honest and that you say what you mean and mean what you say. Your actions will hold up to your words.

  3. Reliability – you keep your promises.

  4. Competence – you have the ability to do what you are doing.

Finally, Feltman says that trust is not an all or nothing proposition. You may miss deadlines, but you may be trusted that you know how to do your job.

This book has so many dogears that I know I will need to reread it several times. He includes many practical things you can do with your team to work on trust. It’s one of those “must reads” that can speed up the things you want to accomplish.

How do you see trust? What pitfalls and successes have you had?

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