“[Trust] is the central issue in human relationships within and outside organizations. Without trust you cannot lead. Without trust you cannot get extraordinary things done. Individuals are unable to trust others fail to become leaders, precisely because they can’t bear to be dependent on the words and work of others. So they either end up doing gall the work themselves or they supervise work so closely that they become overcontrolling. Their obvious lack of trust in others results in others’ lack of trust in them.” Kouzes & Posner, The Leadership Challenge, 244
Build Trust into Your Family Relationships
If trust is THE central issue in human relationships, then we had better get it right with our families. The quote above describes why trust is an important concept in a work setting, but it does not take much alteration to point out how important it can be in a family setting.
Trust is difficult because it requires us to be vulnerable. As human beings we desire certainty. When those around us are uncertain in their behaviors, we have a tendency not to trust them. Kouzes and Posner wrote:
TRUST IS BUILT WHEN WE MAKE OURSELVES VULNERABLE TO OTHERS WHOSE SUBSEQUENT BEHAVIOR WE CAN’T CONTROL.
Hank Smith’s Class on Trust
My wife and I recently attended a weeklong seminar with lots of classes. By far, my favorite class was Hank Smith’s class on the issue of TRUST. He told some great stories (listen to the podcast if you want to here my favorite story of the class) and suggested a book that I purchased on the spot. (See below for a link to purchase Boys in the Boat)
The most significant thing that I learned was how to build relationships of trust. Hank taught us four characteristics of personal interactions that result in high-trust relationships. In this podcast, I summarize some of the great things we learned.
4 Characteristics of High Trust Personal Interactions
4. Low Risk
Trust in Homeschool Relationships
If your child was not thrilled about the idea of being taken out of public school, you may need to spend some time building your trust with that child. You have really shocked their system. Much of how a child identifies himself is based on their interactions at school. Pulling them out of school actually may expose them and make them feel very vulnerable.
Don’t feel pressured to jump right into a math or language arts curriculum. Take time and build your relationship so that your child will trust you and eventually that trust will extend to trusting your decision to bring them home for a home education.
5 Activities that will Build Trust
1. Play their favorite game several times this week (remember frequent, positive, personal, and low risk)
2. Campfires and roasting hotdogs
3. Hikes out in the nature give you lots of time to talk about things that matter to your 13 year-old although not very important to making the house payment. (LOW RISK conversations. Don’t bring up their “less-desirable” friends right now)
4. Ice Cream at McDonalds
5. Field trips
Check out the podcast for specific suggestions as to how these activities will build a strong bridge of trust between you and your child.
Check out this excellent book and see how this collegiate athlete overcomes trust issues caused when his family abandoned him at 15.