Monday, October 27, 2014

Trust






Trust is very important. In everything. Relationships, work, your Dr., your barista.....everything. I don't trust easily, never have. A friend says it comes from my partial cold, eastern European roots. The one time in my life I jumped blindly and trusted implicitly I got burned,  so note to self. But trust is also a hard term to quantify and articulate in some cases. It could just be a feeling. Or more to the point a bad, nauseating wave of emotion that you just can't place. That's your gut talking. You know something isn't right but you justify and overlook, accommodate and tolerate because of one reason......

You're scared.


A few weeks ago at work we had communications training. I'm not sold that it's a skill that can actually be taught to someone who lacks it, but I always find the exercises fascinating because I love discussing human nature. What stood out for me? The Trust Triangle. Well, stood out is the wrong term. What made my mind explode, will help me assess relationships in the future and articulate every concern I have from now on with anyone till the end of time...including my barista? The Trust Triangle.

Care, Competency and Consistency.

Three little words that will change your life, because if one of the three is missing, you can't trust someone. The instructor framed it like this.

My teenage son is a great driver. He was wonderful while we practiced and they stopped the test early because he got so many questions right. So when he would ask I would let him borrow my car. After a while, I noticed he stopped taking his football gear out of the car and it would stink up the car and leave it dirty. I mentioned it to him but he kept doing it. Then he started texting me at 11:55pm saying he was "on his way". His curfew was 12am. Then the text would come at 12:10am. "On my way". 

It was very clear a) he didn't care about the state he returned the car to me in and b) he wasn't consistent and missed his curfew. So I sat him down and said I didn't trust him anymore and he couldn't borrow the car. It was a calm, rational way to explain it and a clear way for him to understand which areas he needed to improve upon to gain my trust again.

This may not mean a hill of beans to you, but it really helped me and I wanted to share. Trust doesn't come easily when you've had someone let you down. Despite this, somehow I know that there are other people out there that won't. This has already helped me sort out my feelings about certain situations and assess things better so I'm taking care of myself and not worrying so completely if another person is ok. It's a two-way street though, so I hope it will also help me not become so defensive if someone has feedback for me. I hope I can see my behavior in this context and identify where I can get better as well if it's warranted.

And if communicating your concerns to your barista in this context doesn't work, just dump the poorly prepared latte on their head and inform them you're going to another coffee shop in the future.

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