Three Parts of Trust …

Trust Fall - 1 on 1 - Presenter MediaI USED TO HANG OUT IN THE WOODS AND FALL DOWN A  LOT …

At several points in my life, I have been deeply involved in experiential group learning … translated, that means I used to camp out in the woods with my staff or a group engaging in creative and challenging exercises, with hours of debriefing afterward.  We would experience and then process how the group communicated, made decisions, and worked together.

People faced with uncommon issues and problems can gain insight into themselves and their strengths and values, along with learning how to better interact with and appreciate the contributions of others.

Most of the exercises involved some level of trust between individuals.   A trust fall is a common way to display or build trust.  One person falls backward, hopefully into the waiting arms of another or others.  This can be terrifying the first time a person experiences literally letting go and trusting someone else to keep them safe.

Even when a person is on what we call High Challenges (ROPES terminology), all alone on a pole or beam high above everyone else, trust still matters.   You are tethered to a rope which another person on the ground holds, ready to help you keep your balance or lower you safely if you start to fall.

The ability of the person up there to recognize and trust the person holding their safety rope is essential.  Feeling safe enough to risk, since the perception of falling is still strong, even when you have a strong rope anchored to you and are in little real danger.  Trusting that person on the ground is critical.


It strikes me that leadership and life coaching is something like those outdoor learning experiences.  Trust is also an essential ingredient in the coaching relationship, and trust is developed within three related, but distinct categories:


As the coach , I must believe that my experience and skills are adequate to the challenge of helping another grow intentionally and in a positive direction.

As the client, I must develop the belief that I am capable of intentional and positive change, with discernment and support.


As the coach, I must trust the coaching process includes everything needed for me to help another engage in intentional and positive change on multiple levels.

As the client, I must trust the coaching process will help me develop confidence, courage, and clarity of vision.


As the coach, I must trust the client.

As the client,  I must trust the coach.

This is the type of trust we tend to think of first, but in truth, trusting each other is both a combination of the first two types of trust and the interaction of personal chemistry.   

It’s sort of like magic how all this comes together to create a relationship of trust…

Hoping that this provides value to someone today in the Heartland …


Image: Presenter Media



5 Things We Can Learn From Ferguson’s New Leadership via RELEVANT Magazine

Interesting article which provides somewhat of a review of the week’s events in and around Ferguson, Missouri:

5 Things We Can Learn From Ferguson’s New Leadership | RELEVANT Magazine.


Trust Me On This One …

“It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.”

Samuel Johnson

You Buy This? …

This is one of Samuel Johnson’s oft quoted sentiments and, on the surface, it sounds great. Most of us, at least according to current psychological thinking, are more likely to publicly choose the option which puts us in the best light to others.   In this regard, Johnson’s quotation is a clear mandate.

One can almost imagine oneself taking a lofty (dare I say “Holier Than Thou”) stance, with head held high, but also while looking down one’s nose derisively at those who gather in the less clear ethical gutter of human behavior.   The feeling of self-satisfaction is almost palpable.

Trust or Not Trust? 

However, as always, we need to reflect a little more and dig a little deeper on this seemingly self-sacrificing and noble position.

Stated with other words, Johnson is suggesting that “letting ourselves be taken advantage of” or “getting screwed  by someone” is preferable to being the “screwee” (if such a term actually exists).   He is saying that the ability to trust outweighs the ability to always be sure you are not being cheated.

If we choose to trust and act appropriately, we may set ourselves up for a lifetime of being the object of scorn, of suffering at the hands of others, and of not getting everything that we rightfully should have in our lives.

If we choose not to trust or act appropriately, we may set ourselves up for a lifetime of profiting from the misfortunes of others and taking advantage in unfair ways of another.

Then, of course, there are “others” to consider.  You are not alone in this world, are you?

…  if you are part of a family or familial group, your decisions affect not only you, but others.  If you are cheated, how does that affect their lives and happiness?

…  if you are a leader responsible for the well-being and livelihood of others, how does your perception of what is ethical or not ethical relate to theirs?

…. if you belong to a group of any type, how does your choices affect those others with whom you share a bond of some type? 

When we consider the impact of our decisions and behaviors on others, we sometimes have to modify the original thinking, but this is not a given either.  Sometimes the greatest gift we can give to another is a good example to follow.

At any rate, think about the above for a bit and then let me know what you think.

Possibly nitpicking just to get a discussion going in the Heartland ….


Image via

“La Cocinera” …

The Cook

La Cocinera

by Jennie Taylor 

A little primer on how to build relationships and create mutual respect, while also eating very well – click the title above to read this sweet and insightful essay.

La Cocinera” translates from Spanish to English as “The Cook“.

Sometimes becoming friends with someone is just a matter of hanging out in their kitchen … with a great deal of respect and paying close attention.

From the good folks at Searching Sophia’s Pockets – if you do not subscribe to their regular doses of nuanced and thoughtful writing, well, I just do not know what to say … except “Start“.

Enjoying the message and the medium in the Heartland ….


About Slippery Slopes …

“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time till at length it becomes habitual.”

Thomas Jefferson    

Here’s how it goes:


Once is “Oops”.

Insert slight feeling of regret here

Twice is “Hmmm”

 Insert guilt feelings here       

Three times is a habit.

Insert increased momentum and justifications here

Four times is “Kiss trust away”.

Insert feeling of being trapped in behavior cycle here

Five times is a lifestyle.

Insert loss of self-respect and hopelessness here

The speed may vary.  Your motivations for your behavior can change.  The outcome, if not redirected, is foregone.

Trying to stay honest in the Heartland …


 Notes  from As quoted in Memoirs, correspondence, and private papers of Thomas Jefferson: late president of the United States (1829), pg. 286.   Written in a letter to Peter Carr, the quote continues, “…he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him.”