Key To Successful Relationships?

January 27, 2014

What if the key to successful relationships was straightforward and simple? Maybe not completely easy, but simple. I was reading through my email this morning and came across a comment from someone who was talking about an insight they had in their relationship. I thought it was very profound and I paraphrase and elaborate on it here:

What if the key to our relationships is not about trying to make the other person or even ourselves change?
What if the key to successful relationships is having the courage to say what we need without attacking, blaming, or criticizing?

Imagine what our relationships, communities, and workplaces could be like if we made this one small change? What are the possibilities that we would open up? How much angst could we save ourselves and others by making this one simple change: Ask for what we want without attacking, blaming, or criticizing?

How Do You Define Trust?

January 19, 2014

I have found that trust is hard to define and everyone has a different concept of what it is and how you build or break it. I am just revising my definition of Trust for the upcoming book, High Performance Relationships, because of this lack of clarity. I actually think that there is something more core and basic than trust, and that is Psychological Safety. So, here’s my definition:

“Trust develops over time and is an outcome of having ongoing experiences of feeling safe with others. Safety is easier to control than trust. Safety can be breached or bridged in the moment to moment interactions we have with others.”

In my work with teams and couples, I have observed that trust usually takes awhile to build or break down. I have found that when I talk with leaders and teams about the idea of psychological safety, it resonates with them and often links with their physical “Safety First” culture. Safety is also easier to notice and shift quickly in a conversation by using “Safety Tools” like paraphrasing, asking for clarification, demonstrating empathy, summarizing, apologizing, etc. What do you think? How do you define and demonstrate trust in your life and relationships at work and home?