[OSList] Interdependence and Vulnerability: a delayed reframe re: Trust

christine koehler chris.alice.koehler at gmail.com
Sun Mar 9 23:53:14 PDT 2014

Here a great article about The Psychology of Trust in Work and Love
that says that the issue of trust is central in life ("issues of trust
permeate our days from the time we’re born to the time we die, and it’s
often what’s below the surface of consciousness that can have the greatest
influence on a life well lived") because of our vulnerability
It also says that trust lies primarily within ourselves.. How to trust
ourselves when our desires are so complex and contradictory ? And if I
cannot trust myself, how can I trust others ?

I think that the law of 2 feet makes it easier to take the risk of trust
and vulnerability, it helps us test those contradictory desires within us.
It can also be challenging as it make them happen clearly in your own eyes.


On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 6:59 AM, Chris Kloth <chris.kloth at got2change.com>wrote:

>  Trust & Trustworthy - A bit long
> Following up on Eric’s question about my distinction between trust and
> trustworthiness I first want to thank him for triggering this reflection
> for me.  I also want to note the way in which he wanted to make sure I
> did not misunderstand his intention as some sort of judgment… an act of
> trustworthiness. He recognized the potential vulnerability I might
> experience in order for us to learn together.
> When I got to the heart of the artichoke I mentioned earlier I discovered
> that the key to the distinction for me is that I prefer to think of trust
> as a verb, much more than as a noun.
> For me trust as a noun feels like a thing, a commodity to get, have or
> lose. I have your trust or I need to get it and try not to lose it.
> Leaders, managers, organizations try to get it and hold onto it. We feel
> betrayed when someone abuses our trust. We don’t like it when someone takes
> advantage of our trust but we try to leverage the trust of others.
> For me the verb shifts the focus to relationship and effort, to passion
> and responsibility. For me learning to trust and be trusted is at the core
> of building sustainable individual, group and community relationships.
> Trusting is an act of intimacy. Trusting is a process that people need to
> nurture so it can grow and thrive. It takes work, risk, vulnerability and
> commitment.
> I remember being a member of an executive team in a state agency many
> years ago. I had decided I was finally going to raise an issue with the
> team that was going to meet strong resistance (vulnerability). Part of
> deciding to raise it was checking with a frequent ally to make sure I
> wasn’t totally alone in taking a stand (interdependence). However, my ally
> arrived a few minutes late for the meeting and when I raised the issue he
> was silent (vulnerability). Later I asked him why he didn’t speak up. He
> said the reason he was late was that he had been read the riot act by
> agency counsel about a stand he had taken in an unrelated context. He was
> shell shocked. My choice was to understand the tough spot he was in and
> that we would need each other’s support in the future (interdependence).
> In that relationship it was my responsibility to understand what happened
> rather than rush to judgment. I had to understand that we all have multiple
> relationships, roles and responsibilities. Sometimes my role in one
> relationship does not align with my role in another. I have to accept
> responsibility for making the choices I make and understand that, having
> built a trusting relationship, recognize that others may also have to make
> tough choices.
> In the context of the work we do when opening and holding space (or
> hosting or facilitation or convening or being agile or using any other
> credible tool for creating sustainable shared responsibility for bringing
> about what we desire) we typically do not know well or at all the people
> who have gathered. We often are inviting them to trust a process that they
> are unfamiliar and/or uncomfortable with. They may not be comfortable with
> each other.
> Much of my work that I have done over the years has involved addressing
> deep conflict rooted in cultural, racial and/or class bias. Often actively
> maintaining mistrust of “them” was seen as a survival skill. That does not
> mean they could not work together effectively in open space. At some point
> some people decided that they needed each other and were willing to risk
> vulnerability to get unstuck and move to a healthier place.
> For years on this list we have shared with one another all the ways in
> which we are more or less effective in opening and holding the space. How
> we do it is a methodology question. I submit that what we are doing is
> creating a crucible within which people can bring their senses of passion
> and responsibility to bear on something they care about with people they
> may or may not be in relationship with yet, but who they need. In the
> process they will explicitly or implicitly plumb their shared senses of
> vulnerability and interdependence.
> If we re-read old posts we will find many attributes that describe our
> behavior, demeanor and spirit when we are at our best. Each of us has said,
> “The key to doing this work is…” For me all these skills and attributes
> fall under the umbrella of being authentically trustworthy. They are
> helpful in building trust, but they do not equal trust.
> Finally, unless I am going to maintain an ongoing relationship with their
> work, there is not time (or need) for them to achieve some state of being
> with me called trust. They only need to experience a sense of safety or
> trustworthiness sufficient to hold the container for their work. To expect
> more suggests that I am trying to get some need of my own met. Yes, I love
> to feel the senses of satisfaction, excitement and anticipation as they
> invest in their work and any compliments or appreciation they express for
> my role. I just don’t call that trust.
> Please note that my new e-mail address is chris.kloth at got2change.com. You may also contact me by using the Contact Page at www.got2change.com.
> Shalom,
> Chris Kloth
> ChangeWorks of the Heartlandchris.kloth at got2change.comwww.got2change.com
> phone - 614.239.1336
> fax - 614.237.2347
> Think Globally, Act Locally
> Please think about the environment before printing this e-mail.
> On 2/10/2014 12:40 PM, Eric Hansen wrote:
> Hi, Chris:
> I know I am a stranger on this list. My wife, Elaine Hansen, I think is more
> active, and is friends with Suzanne Daigle, who also responded to your post.
> I did not respond on top of Suzanne's response so as not to "muddy the
> waters." None of which matters except to provide some context for who I am.
> You're email caught my eye for several reasons. The comment that struck me
> most is this one:
> "They had determined that I was trustworthy, which I would suggest is short
> of trust. They were willing to risk vulnerability, in part, because I had
> demonstrated fairness, transparency, truthfulness and presence... enough to
> take a risk on the process."
> I am wondering: Could you tell me (us) more about why, for you,
> trustworthiness falls short of trust.
> I am not asking you to justify the distinction, only to explain it more. At
> this point, I do not understand.
> If you do decide to provide an answer, I would then invite you to answer one
> more question:
> Why is that distinction important to you?  Again, I am not asking you to
> justify that distinction. I am, instead, inviting you to reflect on why the
> distinction has meaning for you and then to share that meaning with the
> list.
> Eric Hansen
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[image: Christine Koehler, créatrice d'espace de Dialogue et de Coopération]
 Executive Coach, Médiateur
 Tel :  06 13 28 71 38
  Fax :    09  72  32 36  65
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