We’ve all experienced it. Trusting someone, only to be disappointed or worse, shattered. Whether it is betrayal by a friend or colleague for their own benefit, not honouring a future promised, or having another share information that wasn’t theirs to share. I assume everyone has had their trust broken at some point in their career, however, because the majority have experienced it, it doesn’t make it less significant. It’s not what happens, or the actions taken in that moment that generates the most harm, it is the aftermath…the ripple effect. I read Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead at the beginning of the year and she speaks of trust.
Trust is the stacking and layering of small moments and a reciprocal vulnerability over time. Trust and vulnerability grow together, and to betray one is to destroy both (p.34).
I visualise trust as slowly placing building blocks on top of each other. It takes time, as the pieces are purposefully placed. When trust is lost, these blocks are instantly smashed and the ability to show vulnerability is shattered. I believe the effects are long-lasting if one does not purposefully heal. On Twitter recently, I read how many teachers had been burnt because of toxic workplaces or people. I spent a great deal of time thinking about their comments and stories, and how they recovered. A wise person once said, “Make sure you don’t become bitter”. This resonated because while you may have been the one hurt or let down, being bitter reflects upon you. People are more likely to judge you, not the person who broke your trust.
I wondered how people restore their ability to trust and express their vulnerability? Trust is a two-way street, so is it something one can do on their own? Does a person need to develop their own psychological safety first? If the goal is to restore the ability to trust again, what role can coaching play? Does coaching require vulnerability and trust first, or does trust and vulnerability develop through coaching?
We need to trust to be vulnerable, and we need to be vulnerable in order to build trust (p. 30).