“Un soir d’automne 2001, je rends visite à ma grand-mère. A peine arrivée et installée sur le canapé, toute joyeuse, Mamy me parle d’une émission qu’elle a vue la veille sur la mort assistée. Toute enjouée, Mamy me raconte comment cette femme hollandaise est partie, heureuse, sereine, entourée de toute sa famille avec un dernier verre de champagne. Qu’en penses-tu me demande-t-elle ?
Surprise, je prends quelques secondes pour réfléchir et lui réponds très naturellement : “Si c’est son choix et que tout le monde a pu l’accompagner, c’est un bel acte d’amour.”
Mamy me regarde et me sourit. Nous poursuivons la conversation sur différents sujets, puis arrive le temps de son feuilleton. Je prends congé en l’embrassant.
Mars 2002, j’apprends que l’état de ma grand-mère se dégrade. Elle ne dit rien. Hospitalisée, elle fait une chute et les douleurs deviennent insupportables. De retour à la maison,
How do we increase the level of trust in our relationships?
During my coaching career, I came across numerous definitions and requirements for the space in which a great coaching conversation occurs. Using this type of conversation as an example of a trusting relationship and a fertile ground for growth, here are the 3 things we intentionally need to establish: safety, belonging and dignity.
With a specific relationship in mind, self-reflect or ask the other party about the following:
Safety. We need to feel physically, emotionally and psychologically safe in order to be vulnerable and share our ideas. To create safety, consider:
- Confidentiality: do they feel that conversations will remain confidential?
- No-judgement: do they feel they won’t be judged for their thoughts and opinions?
- Rank: Do they feel free to share their thoughts without being scared of losing status (ex. their job, or your love)?
Belonging we are social beings and we have an inherent need to belong to a community or a team. To increase the sense of belonging in your relationship, consider:
- Tribe: Do they feel part of the team?
- Care: Do they feel genuinely cared for?
- Support: Do they have the support they need?
Dignity There are different perspectives to a given situation. The ability to embrace the other’s position is an attribute of empathy, a high-ranking leadership trait. And when people feel dignified, they, in turn, allow others to feel dignified. To create a culture of dignity in your organization, or at home, here is what to reflect upon:
- Respect: Do they feel respected during the conversation?
- Appreciation: Do they feel appreciated?
- Efficacy: Do they feel that they are contributing to the relationship?
These guiding questions are great, but here are two additional points that must accompany them for increased trust building effectiveness:
- Genuinely listen to the answers that come out of the dialogue or self-reflection process.
- Following through with an action: what is one thing you commit to change or improve based on this discussion or reflection?
Any conversation with a partner or team that does not uphold the three elements of safety, belonging and dignity will leave a dent in the relationship. The more the dents created, the more the relationship feels unfulfilling, the lower the levels of trust and the harder the work required to reset it to previous “normal” levels.
We all are in relationship, and many of us struggle with the issue of trust. Having the courage to inspect the relationships that matter most will bring more serenity to our environments.
From this new, trustful, place anything is possible: conflict is more manageable, change is less forced, feedback is welcome, and fear takes a back seat.