Pen, paper, computer




β€œThere is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the worldβ€”one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love. On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, that one thing has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life. Yet, it is the least understood, most neglected, and most underestimated possibility of our time. That one thing is trust.” ― Stephen M.R. Covey, The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything


The intention of this task is to explore the role that trust plays in the quality of our relations. We do this both to become more aware of how we come to trust others, as well as of the behaviors that increase trust between us and other people.


Trust plays a fundamental part in relations and is central when you want to get something done. It is a necessary foundation in relations that help us grow and in high-performing teams. Therefore, we need to understand trust, both how to develop it and how to manage our expectations of others. Trust is relational. It happens at the meeting point of people. The level and character of trust in a relationship depends on each person involved. Who and what we trust is influenced by our biases, previous experiences, culture, the specific situation, etc. Though there are similarities in behaviors that make us trust others, there are also differences - a behavior that signals trust for one person doesn't necessarily do the same for someone else. Feeling trust can be difficult for us, especially in a society where there is not a lot of trust between people (and in institutions), or if we have had a personal (traumatic) experience where our trust has been betrayed. For this reason, it is important to be kind to ourselves, and to acknowledge our patterns as they are, so that we can find the next powerful step for creating more trusting relations. Trust is also a vulnerable condition and is linked to positive expectations for actions taken by others, actions that you have little control over. Trust can be hard to build up and easy to lose.

Five elements that can play a part in developing trust:

Integrity: Correspondence between speech and action

Competence: Professional knowledge and interpersonal knowledge

Consistency: Predictability, uniform behavior, and consistency

Loyalty: Willingness to stand up for another person and support them

Transparency: Honest and truthful faithful conduct.



(10min) Solo reflection: Reflect on your own ability and patterns in trusting others. Guiding questions: Are you able to trust the people you interact with? When do you find it easy or difficult to trust? Are you able to let go, let others take the lead, avoid controlling others? What happens when others' actions do not align with your expectations?


(20min) Share your reflections with your buddy (or group) and discuss the topic further.


(15min) Return to your group. Reflect on your relation with each individual in the group, and describe your observations about trust between you and them: -Do you trust them? -In what situations do you trust them or not? -Which situations/actions so far have caused an increased feeling of trust in you and which situations/actions have had a negative effect?


(35min) Share your reflections with one person in focus at a time. Try to open up for nuances (anchor your reason for trusting/not trusting into concrete situations/examples) and make sure you speak about your own experience. Make sure that this step is completed in a constructive and positive manner. Our intention is definitely not to judge someone as untrustworthy, but to get insight about the person on both sides and on relational patterns.

(Optional: the person in focus will sit with their back towards the group and is not allowed to respond until after the reflections are shared.)

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