Building Trust

Without trust
cooperation is impossible.

Seven Principles for Building Trust
in Your Family-Business Council

1. Honor your honest differences; agree to disagree.
FALLACY:  We ought to be alike, see things the same way, and respectfully agree not to disagree.

FACT:  Each of us is one-of-a-kind.  We are more complex and different from everyone else than our external fingerprints or our internal genetic codes.  If we are to cooperate in a family, each of us needs respect for our uniqueness and some acceptance (not necessarily approval) of our differences.
2. Discover your critical, pre-rational resources; tap emotional needs.
FALLACY:  We ought to be positive and reasonable, deny personal needs, and avoid all negative feelings.

FACT:  What I need ~ how I feel about me ~ how I feel about you ~ and how I feel about the world out there determine ~ what I notice (pay attention to) ~ what I think (assess, compare, attribute) and what I will do with you.  If we try to separate these interconnected processes, our behavior becomes imbalanced, impassive and ineffective.
3. Distinguish "relationships" from "issues"; pursue each independently.

FALLACY:  Relationships depend on agreement.  We are bound to coerce, concede, or compromise ~ and stay stuck in "you owe me," in "an eye for an eye," or on opposite sides of a skewed "golden rule."

FACT:  Relationships predetermine results.  It takes at least two people to make a relationship.  It takes only one to change its character.  Instead of waiting for you to meet my expectations, I can initiate and respond in ways that address my interests and yours.
4. Communicate information for mutual growth; speak your truth with your own voice.

FALLACY:  If you really care, you will automatically understand, agree, and remember without my having to "tell" you.  Good communication ought to be easy.

FACT:  At their Latin root, "communcation" and "community" mean "side-by-side fortifying."  Approach one another for contact.  Inquire and listen.  Speak to promote two-way engagement.  Consult before deciding.  What we do and say can build either bridges or walls.
5. Commit to being trustworthy; reliability earns trust.

FALLACY:  You can't trust other people.  People can't really change.  You've got to adopt my values and prove your reliability before I can count on you.

FACT:  I experience trust or suspicion inside my own skin.  I can increase trust best by improving my own reliable words and conduct to others, speaking honestly, making clear contracts, doing what I promise, and recognizing the trustworthy behavior of others as we develop our joint accountabilities.
6. Care; explore personal interests and deal with basic respect.

FALLACY:  If I "accept" those whose values, positions, or behaviors offend me, I will seem condoning, lose my leverage, or become contaminated.

FACT:  When I assume a dominant or superior position to order, judge, correct, or reject you, I pose a threat.  When you feel threatened, you need to defend yourself or retaliate.  No matter what our differences, as we carefully negotiate side-by-side, we come to support that which we help create.
7. Open yourself to the joys of learning from differences; co-create with others and adopt new resolutions.

FALLACY:  There must be leaders and followers, winners and losers, one up and one down.  "Participatory management" undermines effective decision-making, responsible action, and bottom-line results.

FACT:  When our personal values, meanings, passions, and dreams honestly map where we need to go, how we might get there, and to what extent we can travel there together, then we can draw a corporate map for synergizing our efforts to get from here to there.  Among us and for the larger community we serve, this process can make a significant difference.

"The business family that
works together successfully
negotiates differences effectively."
3-People Image Getting there . . .
Working Well Together

* Stone Sculpture by African Carver