“I’ll trust you when you show me you can be trusted.” It’s such a common approach that we’ve learned to expect trust, like we’re entitled to it. Gaining the trust of teammates, family members, or co-workers requires intentional actions. If we aren’t intentional about building trust, then we are often building walls that impede it. The courage to trust before being trusted, to be vulnerable first, is the key to forming trust. Let’s think about it the other way. What does being guarded and closed off from your teammates, family members, or co-workers do? How does it help? We think it may keep us safe, but that safety is just an illusion. We might feel safer in the short-term, but we all know the safety we can create alone is nothing compared to the safety of a group or team. As Rudyard Kipling so aptly explained, “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” Why Should We Care?
There is no reason to care … if you don’t want to achieve at the highest level, be a part of something bigger than yourself, or become the best version of yourself. On the other hand, if you aspire to excellence, seek the embrace of a group that truly knows and cares about you, or want to maximize your potential … then caring about getting vulnerable might be for you.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
F.A.M.I.L.Y. - this is an acronym from Coach PJ Fleck: Forget About Me I Love You. The initial questions: What does love look like within our team? How do we express love? What can you show me love? Gary Chapman (The 5 Languages of Love) has an online at https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/ which gives great insight into how we best process love - Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
Parents - Have everyone in the family take the online quiz. Each family member should review their results and share 3 ways family members could express love to them based on their results. For family members too young for the quiz, keep it simple - just ask them how you can show them love, then do that. Create a master list for all family members.
Coaches/Managers - Have all team members take the online quiz. Each team member should review their results and share 3 ways team members could express love to each other based on the results. Create a master list for all team members. All coaches should participate as well.
Teammates - Review the results of your teammates and their 3 ways to show them love, create a ‘Care Chart’ to track your connection with 1 teammate each week. Gradually increase the number of teammates you are connecting with each week.
2. Entitlement Ratio - Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness; foundation in humility and what we have. Entitlement is the feeling of having a right to something; foundation in pride and what we don’t have. Your Entitlement ratio is the amount of things you feel entitled to compared to the amount of things you feel grateful for.
Parents - Have all family members answer the following questions. It’s best if the responses can be written. What are you grateful for? What do you notice you feel entitled to? What do you think your Entitlement Ratio is? What would you like it to be? What are 2 things you could do to be more grateful? Share your answers with the rest of the family.
Coaches/Managers - Have all team members answer the following questions. It’s best if the responses can be written. What are you grateful for? What do you notice you feel entitled to? What do you think your Entitlement Ratio is? What would you like it to be? What are 2 things you could do to be more grateful? Share your answers with the rest of the team - the leader should go first.
Teammates - Focus your ways to be more grateful on your teammates - how could you express your gratitude to your team? Be sure to consider both words and actions to express your gratitude.
3. Walk a Mile in My Shoes - Have you ever thought of what it would be like to be LeBron James for a day? What would be some good things? Some bad things? Feel free to choose anyone’s shoes you want to consider walking in.
Parents - Discuss thoughts on the good and bad for the hypothetical situation. After that, have family members consider walking a mile in another family member’s shoes. Pair family members up and allow them to stay with the same person for a week. At the end of each day, take time to share what their partner’s day was like and what their day was actually like.
Coaches/Managers - Discuss thoughts on the good and bad for the hypothetical situation. After that, have team members consider walking a mile in another team member’s shoes. Pair teammates up and allow them to stay with the same person for a week. At the end of each day, give them time to share what their partner’s day was like and what their day was actually like.
Teammates - Ask follow-up questions about situations or happenings in your partner’s life. Listen more than talk, but show a genuine curiosity and interest in learning more about their life.
Being the first to show vulnerability is dangerous and offers no true guaranteed security. There will be times it does not lead to reciprocated vulnerability and ensuing trust. But it’s the only way to truly gain trust and be a part of a team that is far more capable than you are alone. It’s worth the risk.
For more information on building excellence in your teams, visit us at www.bluecollargrit.com. We would love to know how we could help!