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Building Trust


Report of the TrainingZone online workshop led by Alan Clayton of Amadeus on 21 March 2000:

(alan clayton) Hi Jane, Hi Tim, here I am ready for action

(alan clayton) Hi Florence

(Tim Pickles) Alan, hang on a moment or two to see whose coming. A good way of starting is for people to introduce themselves and say a bit about their interest in the subject.

(Florence Grant) Hi

(alan clayton) OK Tim

(Florence Grant) I provide training and mentoring in the voluntary sector where high level of trust is required

(Linda Nicklin) Linda Nicklin, Hi am currently an IPD
(CTP student ) planning to focus on trianing in Emotional Education

(Tim Pickles) Alan, I think its time to get started. Do you want to raise some questions/issues or invite people to jump straight in with their own questions?

(alan clayton) For myself I was in marketing for 15 years, mostly at ASDA. Then I learned some things about myself and 'high performance' processes. Then I put them to the test in two business ventures of my own, and now I try to bring some of that back to individuals and teams in business to see what others are REALLY capable of..

(alan clayton) I have some thoughts about hoow to use this hour, but would welcome any questions, expectations, requests NOW

(Linda Nicklin) Yes I would like to know what- and how trust links in with motivation

(marie Chambers) This session is about gaining trust isn't it?

(Liz Crede) Have you any experiences of what to do to start building trust when it is at rock bottom btween two functions?

(marie Chambers) if you have trust with the students they are more motivated anyway

(alan clayton) OK great start.....let me ask you all a question.....'Who do you trust, and how did they earn that trust ?

(Florence Grant) I think trust and relationships are built on mututal respect of persons and their abilities.

(alan clayton) OK Florence I agree, so exactly what do you have to see in others to feel OK about being respectful of someone

(Linda Nicklin) From ongoing consistency and congruence

(Florence Grant) It always takes time and contact.

(alan clayton) Yes Linda, I think your consistency point is key

(Florence Grant) Respect and trust coming from honesty and openess

(alan clayton) Most things take time and contact. And so it seems to me we have to look at the building block of all this which might be about 'keeping promises'

(Tim Pickles) There's also the point that it can take days/weeks/months to build trust but a single act or event can destroy it, sometimes irrevocably - there's an imbalance there.

(Florence Grant) Yes Alan keeping promises, but also being willing to say 'I don't know'

(alan clayton) Spot On Tim, that's why its so important to know how well one is doing with keeping promises, and that includes implied
(maybe unconsciously) promises

(Tim Pickles) To people who've joined recently: there's a link further down the page beneath this window which shows you the earlier conversation

(marie Chambers) people respect you more if you say that you don't know instead of trying to solve the particular problem and end up getting into a flap

(Linda Nicklin) So the problem is if person has had litle of low experience of being able to build on the process of trust in the past, what kind of interventions will be helpful given a limited period of time .

(alan clayton) Hi Mike,any particular questions just chime in

(Liz Crede) building trust on a blank base is one thing, but when previous actions have led to blame and no respect, how do you help rebuild it?

(Florence Grant) A session of expectations and how to handle them might be helpful

(alan clayton) Linda, given a limited period of time, or even with heaps of time !!, I suggest people recognise that self trust / self belief is ONLY a function of their own keeping of promises, it is not something you get from outside of self

(Florence Grant) You are talking about self confidence and handling your own expectaations of others

(alan clayton) The start point
(let's get practical) is simply to write a list of all outstanding promises made. ie those tasks that I said I'd do by now for me or another, but haven't completed

(alan clayton) Florence, I believe the trust I can generate in others is directly linked to the level of trust I have in myself

(Florence Grant) Alan, this is your expectation of yourself to fulfill promises made

(alan clayton) Florence, on expectations, I suggest its best to have none.

(Tim Pickles) Liz, where trust has been broken, there's a lot of work to be done in establishing dialogue of the "this is what I felt; this is what I need" kind. It's a huge facilitation job, and the success rate may be very low in practice. The alternative is people staying at arms length.

(Linda Nicklin) OK, Alan I agree, but how do you convey/communicate that inner trust

(alan clayton) Yes Florence, and the thing is that if I keep all the promises I make to myself and to others, then magically I seem able to go an extra mile and take risks, and make commitments I wouldn't have felt comfortABLE WITH BEFORE

(Florence Grant) Isn't part of the problem whether we are realistic in promises we make. Can we keep them in the the time frame we have set?

(alan clayton) Linda, good how do you recognise in someone else ?? There's a clue !!

(alan clayton) Actually Linda I guess you convey that trust in the form of commitments or promises kept ??

(Liz Crede) What if I am not trusted because of the history of my predecessors in my function, or a general organisation culture of mistrust, how do you start rebuilding it?

(alan clayton) Florence yes nice one, I believe we can create a virtuous circle, by starting with small promises, and working our way up.

(alan clayton) Liz, you have my sympathy. And you cannot do anything directly about the past. The best way I know to remedy the situaiton is to start keeping promises, and maybe find ways to publicise the ones that get kept

(Florence Grant) I think the culture of mistrust is difficult but not impossible. I think that an openness and honesty by you goes toward building relationships - trust- that lead to less fright

(alan clayton) Also, as you'll be aware you can't change a n org. culture overnight, so you may well have to keep promises made for some while before people start to trust you, but it WILL happen, its a certainty

(alan clayton) Yes Florence I agree

(Linda Nicklin) In my role as relationship counsellor and later in training, my clients and/or particiapants do not have a track record of past promises kept or otherwise. - youve' just replied to that - what do you mean by "fright "Florence?

(Florence Grant) The mikstrust may be borne of experience of promises not kept and they have 'learned' to be afraid of trusting someone to keep promises.

(alan clayton) Another issue to consider is the fact that we make all our choices on the basis of what we believe about the future, and tend to 'believe' or trust those who have a track record of delivering on their promises

(Florence Grant) Yes Alan right on.

(alan clayton) So the question do I become the kind of person others will trust??

(Florence Grant) We have to remember that we are NOT the first trainer or lecturer or whatever that they have met.

(Linda Nicklin) OK so practically in a training situation, what kind of small, realistic promise-interventions could I make- other than stating objectives/outcomes clearly ? And then follow up on that .

(Liz Crede) I think there is a level below trusting the promise, which is trusting the intent behind the promise - and choosing to keep believing mal-intent. It's hard to break the cycle

(alan clayton) Why would Queen Isabella give Chris COlumbus all those men, ships and supplies for an outrageously far fetched trip to the edge of the world.....I guess you have to be trusted at some high level !!!!

(Linda Nicklin) Well he Christopher was so confident!

(alan clayton) Liz, nice one, thanks.......and I suppose I believe that there IS ONLY positive intent in all behaviour. I might not agree with it, but I shouldn't dismiss it, but rather seek to understand it

(Florence Grant) Chris Columbus must have been a good talker who showed an honest face and was previously trustworthy.

(alan clayton) Linda, yes he was, and he had such a great story
(vision), not a very logical one. I wonder what it would have been like to set off as he did. I guess he trusted himself
(and his intuition) far more than I do

(Liz Crede) I agree Alan - but others don't share our belief and choose to keep believing negative intent as then they don't have to do anything differently and can stay in blame

(alan clayton) Liz, on your point about breaking the cycle, I think its best to only concern oneself with one's own intent and promises. I don't think anyone can be responsible for another

(Florence Grant) Some people seem to WANT to believe and trust and others seem to be natural pessimists.R

(alan clayton) Liz, that's up to them, and they have that right. That need have no impact on me.

(alan clayton) Florence, I suspect that what seems like 'natural' pessimism is really only 'conditioning'. We learn our attitudes, they don't spring up unwarranted

(alan clayton) So, continuing on the practical side, what you can do with the list you have is....1) CROSS OFF anything you no longer intend to do

(Florence Grant) So, their previous experience is all negative and YOU have a long road to break into the cycle

(alan clayton) 2) Delegate anything you now decide to delegate

(alan clayton) 3) Highlight the 5 most important items

(alan clayton) 4) PROMISE to yourself to take action on these by the end of the week

(alan clayton) 5) Repeat with any others until all these tasks are behind you for ever

(Linda Nicklin) I'm not sure Alan but - are you saying that the only way of building trust is by focussing on where you are yourself and to stay with your own conviction and promises made. Indeed that the process of Building trust does not in reality exist; it is about being and staying with yourself .

(Peter Mayes) Linda surely the trust must be in you before it can be imparted to others

(alan clayton) Linda, yes that's about it. I'm no good to anyone else as a leader/influencer/counsellor or whatever, if I don't trust myself. Neither will people follow me, or listen unless I've earned credibility in more than words

(alan clayton) Peter Hi, yes I agree

(Florence Grant) But everything so far is about building the trust of others in me and not about building my trust in others - unless they do as I have done of keeping promises.

(alan clayton) Hi Keith, any requests or questions ??

(Tim Pickles) Keith, check the link further down this page to see the chat before you arrived.

(keith) not yet - I'm just getting up to speed

(alan clayton) Florence, the trust of others is generated by myself. After all that's the only variable in the system I have control over !!

(Liz Crede) As a facilitator I am asked a lot to help build trust between two other distrusting parties, so how does that work then?

(alan clayton) I think I'm trying to be practical here, as I can't control the behaviour of anyone else

(alan clayton) Liz that's interesting. And I think the same process applies, look at Northern Ireland. People on both sides wait to see if others keep promises

(Peter Mayes) Liz - find areas of commonality first

(alan clayton) I your lucky they'll agree to draw a line under the past, but that may loom too large in their minds at the outset

(Linda Nicklin) So we come back to the cycle - I certainly find this the most diffeicult aspect with couples where there has been a huge betrayal of trust by one party.

(Florence Grant) Have any of you tried a team building exercise like the Zen Obelisk with such a situation - forcing the people to work together on something completely different?

(Linda Nicklin) Is forcing perhaps not contradictory?

(alan clayton) Linda, its worth considering the factors our brain uses to weight our past experience in making decisions about the future. It looks for consistency, impact and recency of events. Thus in a relationship situation, a recent one night stand weihts heavy, compared to maybe two one night stands 5 years ago

(Florence Grant) I probably should have said 'opportunity' to work on something so different that the past is put aside and a new relationship
(trust) can start.

(alan clayton) Florence, I expecty the 'forcing' works well, provided both parties have previously agreed on an objective or outcome, and they believe the process on offer will help to achieve it

(alan clayton) I like the qualification

(alan clayton) Hi Jayne, anything that you would like to ask

(alan clayton) As we get towards the close here, I would recommend you take away the key point......'Keep 100% of the promises you make each day'

(Linda Nicklin) What about clarity of boundary issues in this process. Thus I feel more confident when I know what you expect from me /yourself

(alan clayton) That is the foundation of self trust and the generation of trust in others

(Liz Crede) Thanks for all your thoughts, I have to go now. It's been an interesting first experience of an on-line workshop

(alan clayton) I wonder if the boundaries are created and expanded by consistent keeping of promises, and the delivering on ever more challenging promises and risks

(alan clayton) Bye Liz

(Linda Nicklin) Yes that sums it up well -thanx alan )Will have to do something about my keyboard skills

(Florence Grant) Yes Alan, but the keeping of promises has to be by BOTH parties to the relationship.

(Florence Grant) Yes Thanks Alan, I appreciate the discussion.

(Tim Pickles) We're coming towards the end of the workshop hour. before everyone goes, a big thank you to Alan for running the event - there's certainly been a lot of chat. I'll publish the transcript later this afternoon.

(alan clayton) Sorry Florence, you can only look after your own. It would be nice if others kept theirs.....

(Peter Mayes) As an observation of the discussion, are we not talking about one component of Emotional Intelegence - self regulation

(Linda Nicklin) Difficult this business of staying with oneself!!

(alan clayton) POssibly Peter, I'm no expert in that areea

(marie Chambers) Well it was interesting and nice talking to you all bye

(alan clayton) 'To thine own self be true' as Shakespeare said, then everything will be fine
(not Shakespear !!)

(Florence Grant) I agree Alan and Thank You. Bye

(Peter Mayes) I would not claim to be either but in the business sector EI is growing in importance with respect to building trusting long term relationships

(alan clayton) Yes Peter, its an area I plan to explore more

(Peter Mayes) Alan, try Daniel Golmans tape Emotional Intelligence

(alan clayton) Thanks Peter, that's the stuff I've got and now need to digest. He's done a couple of HBR articles as well

(Peter Mayes) I have them in front of me now. Thanks for the chat and look forward to joining again Bye.


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