In the run up to the Oscars I like to see most of the best picture nominations.

Recently I saw Shape of Water and Phantom Threads.  I found both of these to be unique love stories that were focused on trust of self and the other person.  This was an interesting perspective to take when telling a love story and I was struck by how real and fundamental their love for each other was, because of the trust they shared.

Trust is a quality that is defined as ‘a belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone/something’ (Oxford Dictionary).  

Looking at trust from the lens of emotional intelligence, specifically Learning in Action Technologies, high trust in oneself and in others is needed for effective collaboration to occur.  Collaboration builds effective relationships in all aspects of our lives. To connect effectively in relationship with others, we need to trust ourselves and those with whom we have a relationship.

If trust is related to ‘beliefs’ then it can be influenced by our belief system in a way that we are unaware of.  I recall having 2 best friends when I was 10 years old.  Later I discovered one would intentionally manipulate the relationship so one of the other two was ‘not liked’.  She would rotate back and forth between us, always ensuring one of us was ‘in’ with her and the other not.  This led to anger and disappointment for me when I was ‘out’.  As a young adult, I found I would shy away from developing close friend relationships.  I didn’t want to feel that disappointment again. Similarly in the workplace I was slow to trust others enough to truly collaborate.   I also think I probably lacked trust in myself.

If we are not aware of how past experiences have influenced our beliefs, we may find establishing trust in others to be challenging.  We may be reluctant to do the work to explore how we developed our beliefs and how they impact our lives in the here and now.

Here are 3 strategies you can implement right now that will help you build your collaboration skills.  

1. Be curious:

  • Be present when connecting to others.   With presence comes self awareness.  Think about how you feel about yourself and others – how reliable do you think they are?  How much can you rely on yourself in this situation?
  • Listen in the same way to your personal gremlins – those little voices in your head that can run amok.  
  • Ask open questions – as you reflect on your thoughts about yourself and also as you listen to others.  If you find this to be a struggle maybe there is a need to dig deeper.  If you find you don’t trust, ask the questions needed to explore this further.  What has occurred that makes you not trust yourself or others?  

2. Explore beliefs:  

    • Reflect on your past experiences to discover the belief that may be interfering with you trusting yourself in a situation.  What can you do to change this belief so you can begin to trust yourself moving forward?
    • Reflect on your beliefs around others, once again continuing to be curious.  This will help you explore beliefs around this person or your past experiences with her or others that could be creating this belief.  Discover what lies behind it.  In the here and now, how relevant is it?

3. Assess relevance:

    • Determine if the experience is still relevant. As you unravel your experiences, you will better understand what lies behind your belief.  You can determine if it is still relevant.  This will help you become more aware of trust, who you trust and why.

Using these strategies we will better understand ourselves and how we can trust ourselves and others so we can collaborate together effectively.  


Kathy Taberner

Kathy Taberner

Co-Founder of The Institute Of Curiosity

Kathy Taberner is a retired occupational therapist, Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with a MA in leadership and training.  With her daughter, she is a co-founder of the Institute of Curiosity and co-author of the ‘Power of Curiosity’. She is committed to supporting women to strive to become the dynamic and successful leaders they want to be.  Her research project for her Masters explored the leadership styles and emotional intelligence of senior female leaders in BC.

She and her husband of many years, share their time between the Okanagan and Vancouver.

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