March 25, 2021

Trust and the Relationship Bullseye

If you have been following me for a while you know that I talk about a concept called the Relationship Bullseye. If you are new to my page, welcome. Please consider checking out the most recent blog post I shared recently about the Relationship Bullseye to get a better understanding of the concept.

10,000 foot view of the concept: You have circles of people in your life. The closer they are to you, fewer in the circle and a deeper connection.

With this knowledge, we can now talk about trust and the relationship bullseye.

If the closer they are to the center of the bullseye the more trust you should have with them, and them with you.

Also, if trust is broken and they are closer to the center you should want to rebuild trust and it should be easier to rebuild.

When rebuilding trust it is important to own your part of the situation. Sincerely apologizing is critical as well.

Several years ago I went through an emotional intelligence program where I learned an “apology process”. Since then I have seen other organizations talk about something similar. To truly apologize it takes more than just saying you are sorry. Here is a link to one example of an apology process. I believe that there is one more step to the process that they didn’t include. Step 5: Ask what you can do to recommit to the relationship. Doing the first four steps is important, however, step 5 shows your true desire to make the relationship stronger.

Here is a quote from the emotional intelligence program I went through that has stuck with me for all these years: Time heals no wounds, it only provides opportunity. Pathways Core Training

Time truly does not heal however if you do the work required you can use that time wisely and create an even better life than you had before the wound occurred. I believe this is true when it comes to trust.

I have learned to truly apologize for my part in whatever happened requires me to have better understanding. To have better understanding of the real issue at hand, consider the points below:

  • You have to listen to understand not respond.
  • Echo back what you think you heard.
  • Confirm if that is what they really meant.
  • Ask for more details.
  • Ask for their feelings.
  • Dig a little deeper.

For me, I have the strengths of:

  • Ideation, which means I think outside of the box,
  • Activator to get things started fast, 
  • Achiever to get things complete, and on top of those
  • Maximizer to make it great.

I do all of this at once. Plus Futuristic and Strategic, I think you get the picture.

Not everyone, actually almost no one, thinks like I do.

I believe that my strengths allow me to think through things to find a better way to do them and sometimes people feel that as criticizing them.

If I do this too much, it can cause a break in the trust when all I am doing is acting on my natural strengths.

If I dig enough to see that they felt criticized then I can apologize for not being relational in how I shared my ideas.

If I don't dig deep and don't understand where their feelings are hurt I might assume that they may think that I was trying to take over control of the ________ (task/process/company/fill in the blank). If I apologize for one thing and it turns out it was something else, that can make it even worse.

When you have a willing spirit of listening to understand and repeating back what you heard, they almost naturally do the same for you.

Great example is the real life story of Jefferson & Adams. Even if you think you know their story, I would encourage you to read the article I posted as it has some details that I didn’t know. I find it very encouraging to see how even though they had such a challenging relationship that they found a way to trust each other. My favorite part of the article is:

On January 1, 1812, Adams sent a short note to Monticello. Over the next 14 years, he and Jefferson would exchange 158 letters, writing for posterity as much as for each other. Of the two, Adams wrote many more words, and was often the more confrontational and aggressive, while Jefferson maintained his characteristic philosophical calm. By the summer of 1813, the two men had regained a level of trust that allowed them to truly grapple with the two sides of the revolutionary legacy. That July, Adams wrote “You and I ought not to die before We have explained ourselves to each other.”

As we continue to build and rebuild trust, may we be like Jefferson and Adams and “not die before we have explained ourselves to each other” and build deeper stronger relationships that can last a lifetime.

My homework question for you: with whom do you need to build or rebuild trust?

Coach Dale


Schedule a “get to know each other” Zoom meeting!

Playlists — music can change your mood, enjoy some of the songs that encourage me.

The Identity Key — you can purchase my book on Amazon.

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