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February 2011

A New Awareness on Trust


Recently, it's come to my awareness through talking with another coach that I've been taking "trust" for granted.  If you're reading this and you know me, I'm a pretty open person.  I'll answer just about any question anyone asks me without hesitation.  I love sharing my thoughts, beliefs, experiences, and life with others.   I don't have anything to hide and love to share freely.  I'm a very trusting person.  I attribute that to my culture.  I grew up with a belief that everyone is looking out for my best interest as I am looking out for their best interest.  So it comes as a shock to me that not everyone is this way.  I trust just about everyone until they give me a reason not to trust them and I hold others in high regard.   I usually give new people I meet 3 chances to let me down before I write them off emotionally in my mind. 

Anyway, what triggered my eagerness to study the topic of trust was an interaction at a networking event.  My personality is such that I don't like the fluffy superficial conversations.  I like to get right down to things that REALLY matter to me and to the person I'm talking to.  After a series of messages on church about being bold, I thought I would attempt my boldness and ask a question that I am REALLY curious about in others.  After some small talk, I asked my new acquaintance,  what's something you really long for?  I love to know what motivates people and I love it when others ask me these kinds of questions.  Well, she answered and then she walked away abruptly.   I was so puzzled by her behavior that I had to analyze this situation with a coach.  My conclusion is that I overstepped someone's personal boundary.  I guess I asked a question that was too personal?  I feel so bad about that.  I so want others to feel comfortable around me and I very much value harmony that I almost wish I could take it back.  At the same time, I'm glad it happened so that I'm aware of this "trust" thing and that others need to trust me before they can share more personal information like that.   I will honor that and am so aware of it now.  I will trust my intuition and realize there are layers of a person that will be revealed when they are ready. 

So, what did I learn?

1.  Trust is a foundational piece of strong relationships.  If you're interested in learning how to build trust, I highly recommend this great article:

2.  Even though my boldness, my taking a risk, resulted in short-term pain on both our ends, the long-term benefits of learning far outweighed what happened. 

3.  Like my friend Dominque's grandmother used to tell her, "let life come to you."  You don't have to force things to happen.  Just got with the flow.  Be present.  Yesterday, I thought I lost my phone.  I met a client at a coffee house so I put my phone on silent.  2 hours after the meeting, I discovered I had lost my phone.  I had already been to 4 places since I remembered having it so spent hours agonizing and searching for my phone back tracking my drive to all the locations I had been to.  I was so distraught yesterday because of this.  Well, this morning as I was cleaning my kitchen, I heard my phone alarm clock go off.  It was on the mantle of my fireplace in the living room.  As I was sorting through books to sell and donate on my bookshelf, I left my phone there.  My cousin Kar said, "Just as in life we are searching and believing we are missing or lacking something, and we look all over for it. But it doesn't reveal itself to us until the time is right, then alarm bells go off and ta-da!"  So many mini lessons here.  Trust God and his timing as he will reveal to you what's next on his time. 

Today's key points:

1.  Trust in God's timing for your life.  Follow the spirit.  Be present for the opportunities.

2.  Build trust with others. 

3.  Trust yourself. 

Questions to ponder:

What keeps you from trusting.... God, others, and yourself?

What would your life be like if you trusted more?

Love Talk

Pillow talk 

Happy Valentine's Day!  It just so happens that this weekend my husband and I attended a marriage seminar at Buckhead Church, lead by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, who wrote "Love Talk."

The goal of their presentation and book is to help couples improve their communication.  They believe that the foundation for every great conversation starts with uncovering your fear.   Conversation is stifled when one partner feels emotionally "unsafe."  The four categories of fear can be summarized with an acronym, TALQ.

T- Time (gaining control of time)

A- Approval (winning approval from others)

L- Loyalty (maintaining loyalty)

Q- Quality (achieving quality standards)


If you live in fear of wasting your time, then using your time efficiently is a need for you.  These people have a tendency to be impatient and protective of their time.   If you are an aggressive problem solver and like to take matters into your own hands, you fit in this category.  If you are more patient or passive problem solver, this category will most likely not be a need for you.


How do you prefer to influence your partner?  With feelings or facts?  If you have a tendency to influence with feelings, your fear is not getting the approval of your partner.   If getting the approval of your partner is more important to you than winning an argument, being right, and having them upset with you, than approval is one of your safety needs.


People who have loyalty as a safety need don't like change.  They like routine and feel comfortable in the predictable patterns in their life.  They've had the same friends for a long time, like to go to the same stores, order the same food at the same restaurants they go to, etc.  For those who accepting of change and are more adventuresome, loyalty is not a safety need.


If you're a perfectionist out there and you know it, quality is a safety need.  Those who value quality take a long time to make decisions because they must calculate every angle of every decision.  They're like artists who are hardly ever satisfied with their work.  They have high standards.  You will know that quality is not a need if you are decisive, bold, and a quick thinker. 

Which conversational safety needs have you identified with?  Your answer may be circumstantial but pay attention to what may shut you down in a conversation.

What are your partner's emotional safety needs?

Once you aware of them, you can be sensitive to your partner's needs and can begin creating a safe space from which to have deeper and more connected conversations.  For example, if you know your partner really values time, be sensitive and forgiving when they may become frustrated when they feel like they're wasting time.  Be time sensitive when you're interacting with them.  If approval is high for your partner, watch your nonverbal communication including your tone of voice.  Consider that nonverbal communication accounts for 58% of the total message.   Tone of voice makes up 35% of the message while the words only account for 7% of the message. 

What message are you sending with your tone and body language?

For a more in-depth perspective of these tools, check out "Love Talk" by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot.  You'll be glad you did.