Collaborative Tools 2: The Trust Issue

The Challenge: 

The Question: 

How do we create trust

The Problem: 

We start with untrusty feelings often, because of our previous bad experiences

The Solution: 

Start with small steps


For this second tool (Tool 1) i want to come back to the end discussion of the Brussels workshop we held on 24th of September. Alkasem, a doctorstudent and Syrian Refugee started a really important conversation about collaboration: how can we collaborate if there is no trust? Lets go back to this conversation and look at what came out of it

Citation from the workshop: 

SIDENOTE 2: Alkasem was again the most disruptive thinker in the group and gave us a lot to think. For him, everything moves around friendship. He has the feeling that a lot of people in western society start of with mistrust. If you start with mistrust it is difficult to create trust. And without trust no skill can be shared. This intervention of him started a discussion about the meaning of trust and how we can build that.

“‘Trust is an enabler to use the resources. How can that be created inside an eclectic group like this?’,asked Yannick.  For Claire it is a text and rules of engagement and a clear path of conflict resolution, and a way to learn to treat each other better. 

Winnie reacted that your own people's trust is a constant, but gaining the network's trust is more difficult.

With the help of Nadia we made a synthesis of the discussion

1) Working trust is very different from social trust; and there needs to be a boundary. 
2) What also worked for her is deciding to work on even a small project.
3) A story that binds us together - understanding how our different activities are related
4) Documentation: what does it mean? for us it has been in writing.

Finding each other strengths and weaknesses by organizing small events with each other, and beginning with things that don't have something big at stake. Because then we can learn about each other. The importance of documentation in building trust: Leaving a story behind that people can follow.

When the discussion was coming to an end we all felt we had got a lot of information and the workshop was going to close. So Nadia came up with a good idea to end the workshop with something concrete. We all felt that one of the biggest issues in care is that we live to much on our own island and that if we want to make care better we need to share and collaborate. But to collaborate we need to create trust. So this exercise was given to every participant and will hopefully end up in solidifying the care network in Belgium. The following question was asked:

What can i bring to another organization, that also better myself as a person and is easily realizable?

This question will be asked again at the next meeting we are organizing. If you want to join, fill in the framadate and put your contacts in comment. We will update this discussion at that point and see how we have concretized the thrust issue.




Is it not the other way around?

Alberto's picture

My take on this is: you create trust by collaborating, not the other way around. Collaboration comes first.

The trick is to create situations where collaboration is cheap, and people can try it at no great risk to themselves. 

The attitude you bring to the party

johncoate's picture

I agree with Alberto, epsecially in terms of having low risk starting points.  Because everyone brings to a situation their own place on a kind of continuum between a willingness to risk getting burned by someone in order to increase the possibilites of fruitful new relationships, and being protective of oneself to the point that you only "let someone in" after they have demonstrated in some way their worthiness.

What is trust, anyway?

asimong's picture

Such an important topic!

I've noticed, when discussing trust personally, that the meaning of trust is not as clear as it is sometimes assumed. To me there are levels of trust, that can be drawn out by asking questions like "would you trust this person to..." You can sort these questions by asking a bunch of them together about the same person. "... take a letter to the post office"; "... keep my house keys for emergency use"; "... look after my child when I'm away" (and what age of child?) "... not to trick me or take advantage" -- all these (and many more) might have different sets of people who I would trust in that way.

For me, it's about having reasonable confidence that they would act in specific situations in a way similar to the way I would. Normally we get this only through personal experience. But if we documented trust more, we might be able to trust people based on the recommendations of other people we trust, for instance.

Maybe worth exploring?