Must Trust be Earned?


Robert Whipple writes about businesses. His message, however, applies equally well to parenting and teaching.
Children are born wanting love, acceptance, and respect. The rest we have to teach them. And to teach them we have to engage them and then prove to them that they can trust us.
In my practice I hear and witness numerous examples where this does not take place. I have had parents and professionals tell me that they won’t show a child or adolescent respect until they show respect first. But where are our children and adolescents supposed to learn what respect feels and looks like? They have to trust that the adults around them will demonstrate it repeatedly so that they have a model to follow.
Look at the 10 examples of trust that Mr. Whipple has listed. Can you state without exception that you demonstrate these types of trust to the children and adolescents in your life on a daily basis? Would they agree?
I would like to challenge you for the next week to keep track of these 10 examples of trust in your interactions with children and adolescents in your care of for whom you are providing services (teaching, counseling, etc.). After each encounter, go down the checklist and check off if you demonstrated the examples. If not, why? At the end of the week, reflect on how your relationship with that child (or those children) has gone. If you began to change your approach based on how you rated the earlier encounters, did the response from the child appear to change in any way? Good or bad?
Let me know how it turns out. If you are still struggling maybe I could help you via coaching.
Looking forward to hearing from you at the end of the week.

earn I start out all my trust seminars by asking the audience to define trust. I enjoy watching the faces of the people as they wrestle with the challenge.

Clearly, trust is a word that we all use on a daily basis. We all know what it means, in general, but we have not stopped to try to come up with a precise definition.

It’s kind of like what Justice Potter Stewart once said about hard-core pornography, “It’s hard to define, but I know it when I see it.”

Just because someone will look it up if I don’t, Webster has numerous definitions for trust, the first one is about “assured reliance.”

Ultimately, after a few awkward moments, people start to spill out various definitions. I frequently get 15 or 20 different definitions from the group.

We then explore the idea that trust, while the phenomenon is well known to us…

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