Thursday, June 2, 2011
Building Trust in Families
a team: trust, being ok with conflict, committing to decisions, accountability and focus. In this post, we will delve a little more into "Trust."
What does it look like when family’s DON’T have trust?
Families that don’t have trust feel like they need to hide their mistakes from each other. They may not feel comfortable asking for feedback or offering to help with something they haven’t done before. Families without trust jump to conclusions about why other people in the family are acting a certain way without clarifying with that other person. Families without trust hold grudges. Families without trust focus on “short-comings” of their other family members and aren’t able to tap into each person’s skills in a way that benefits everyone.
What does it look like when family’s DO have trust?
Families that trust each other don’t use past mistakes against each other later. They keep their promises and commitments to each other. Families that trust each other can be vulnerable in front of each other without feeling threatened. Families that trust each other have parent’s that are connected and demonstrate trust in their relationship with each other as a couple.
Ways you can foster trust in your family:
Think of each relationship in your family as being a bank account. You can make deposits and withdrawals. When you interact in a way that strengthens the relationship (hugs, showing love, etc) you make a deposit. When you interact in a way that is hurtful, or denies a person of what they need, you make a withdrawal. The goal of course is to make deposits! Some ways you can make deposits are:
o Demonstrate trust! Give each other opportunities to follow through on their agreements. Set each other up for success rather than failure.
o Don’t use guilt trips or threats with each other.
o Be consistent and follow through on promises.
o Ask open ended questions that promote communication instead of making assumptions about what other people think.
o Remember, trust must be maintained over time!
So go on, talk to your family about trust.
How do the members of your family show each other that they trust each other and can BE trusted? Where might you need to be able to trust each other more? Where are there good levels of trust already? Have each member of your family come up with one thing they can do that will help foster trust with another family member.
Heather Remer, INCAF