Thursday, October 25, 2012

What Do You Think About Trust?

Trust is an important thing for many people. It is also an interesting topic to bring up in conversation. When you ask another individual about their thoughts on trust, they typically will have a quick response, such as, "It is very important to have trust.", or "You need to earn trust."

If we assume that both of those above statements are true than we must ask ourselves these two questions:

1. Is it really that important to have trust?
2. How much trust needs to be earned?

During my "Techniques for Success Group", I asked the individuals, "Why is it important to trust somebody?" The response I got was that of a crowd that did not speak the same language as me, silence. I decided on switching up the question and asked the group, "Why is it bad to trust somebody?", and suddenly they knew what to say.

Within 10 seconds I received feedback that would make you truly believe that trust is something horrible you want to stay away from. 

"Trusting people gets you hurt"
"You get screwed over"
"People take advantage of you"
"You become weaker to other people"

The human mentality to pursue pleasure (instant gratification) and avoid pain has made even the ability to trust a painful thing. So what needs to happen? In order to reestablish our trust in trust, we must follow the "Top 2 Ways to Improve Trust".

I. Finally give ourselves some credit!

Although we may believe that others need to "earn your trust", you give out enough for free. Humans inherently want to love and be loved by others. This allows us to trust people right away. Of course, the degree of trust and the events that can diminish or ignite it can vary greatly, but as a whole, we innately want to trust other humans. 

Have you said hi to a stranger in the past 30 days, had a conversation with somebody you didn't know too well, or played on a sports team before? If you said yes to any of these questions, you are guilty of instilling trust into another human instantly. We do this all of the time, and that is ok, even great at times. Understanding that there is a standard amount of instant trust you allow for each individual (will vary per individual) and learning how to build on it will allow you to fulfill your need of connection/love far greater and faster than before.


II. The Million Dollar Question to building trust.

After acknowledging and accepting that you allow other individuals to have a small amount of "instant" trust and giving yourself credit for it, you must ask yourself this question.

If you were to be paired with a complete stranger and placed in a room for 1 hour with the goal being to leave the room 1 hour later trusting each other the most possible, what would you be doing during that hour?

This simple question that is easy for some and near impossible for others will create a cheat sheet for easy ways to develop secure connections and trust.

Share in the comments section your 
answer to the question.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Do You Know Fred Rogers?

Some of you may remember Fred Rogers as an American educator, Presbyterian minister, songwriter, author, or television host, but most remember simply by saying "Mister Rogers".

Each episode of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" began the same way: Mister Rogers is seen coming home, singing his theme song "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", and changing into his sneakers and infamous old man cardigan sweater.

I am pretty confident that Mister Rogers made cardigans look cool for first time ever, or maybe it is just the comfortable old man in me speaking.

What many people didn't know about Fred Roger is how much of an advocate he was.

   May 1, 1969   
  • President Nixon attempts to decrease funding to PBS by 50% ($20 million --> $10 million).
    • Fred Rogers goes before the Senate to defend the funding to PBS.
    • Fred Rogers defends children, the messages we send to our younger population through television, the mental health field, therapy/counseling, and emotional expression.
    • Fred Rogers proclaims the dramatic power of emotional expression amongst men (at this time many male soldiers were coming back from Vietnam).

    In the late 1960's, Fred Rogers made it crystal clear that he was deeply concerned with what was being delivered to our children via television and radio. Working with children most of his life, Fred, was driven to understand children's needs and the "inner drama of childhood".

    For those parents that wish to provide their children with the best opportunities given your situation and resources listen closely to the message being conveyed by Fred Rogers. 

    "This is what I give. I give an expression of care
    every day to each child, 
    to help him realize that he is unique."

    Mister Rogers focuses on fulfilling a child's need of significance and connection/love.

     He fulfills their need of significance through making the children feel unique, important, and noticed by just being who they are, nothing more. 

    He fulfills their need of connection/love through listening to the children, spending time with them, and overtly vesting interest in their well-being.

    Here are a few messages Fred was trying to get across in his Senate Hearing in 1969:

    1. You are unique, just the way you are
    2. Feelings are mentionable and manageable 
    3. Managing your feelings is far more dramatic then showing violence
    4. We can model these principles through television and parenting

    Watch the actual Senate Hearing in 1969 and see how Fred Rogers gets Senator Pastore of Rhode Island to admit he got "goosebumps".