May 15, 2005

Good day, team,

This week’s coach’s challenge is about learning to trust. When I first pondered this idea, I thought it was about trusting other people. But upon reflection, I realized that it was first about trusting myself and then trusting others. That is, we build trust by behaving reliably and by expecting the best from others.

We earn other peoples’ trust by doing what we say we’ll do. We act with care and consideration. We are dependable. We are known for our integrity. No hidden agenda causes us to give mixed messages to others. Our actions reflect our intentions.

We reinforce our trust in others by releasing skeptical thoughts about them. If we start out suspecting someone or something and entertain the suspicion long enough, we convince ourselves that it is the truth. But skepticism is usually more wrong than right. Thoreau noted, “We are always paid for our suspicion by finding what we suspect.” I think the opposite is also true: If we expect to trust other people, we will find something in them to trust.

This week, observe what you do to be trustworthy and also how much you trust your fellow team members. What are you doing to foster feelings of trust in others? Do you find yourself deceiving others either by lying, withholding key information, or telling stories that are untrue about yourself and others? Are you fooling yourself by thinking that others don’t see your deception? If you do trust others, how do you communicate that trust?

Trust is key to the development of any strong friendship, partnership or working relationship. Mutual trust and esteem are part of the foundation of all successful ventures. Look for ways this week to be more trustworthy and to be more trusting of others. You will find that much more is possible when we trust each other.

See if you can confirm the words of Francois de la Rochefoucauld: “The trust that we put in ourselves makes us feel trust in others.”

Have a great week!


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