Trust and Authenticity

In my previous post, I wrote about Jack Gibbs theory that good teams are built on a foundation of trust.  The first principle of building trust is the ability to answer the question, “Who am I?”  To understand why this is important, let’s look at the concerns of groups and individuals as they pertain to trust.

Every group can be seen through two lenses, that of the group, and that of the individual. Groups are concerned with answering questions in four categories:

  1. Membership – Who will belong in this group? What is the cost of being in this group?
  2. Decision Making – How do we make decisions? Who in this group has the power to make decisions?
  3. Productivity – What can we do together?
  4. Organization – How can we structure ourselves to achieve our goals?

Along with these group concerns come four areas of individual concern:

  1. Acceptance – Who am I in this group? Do I belong? Can I be myself?
  2. Data Flow – Will I be heard? What are your concerns? Will you hear my concerns?
  3. Goal Formation – What do I want to accomplish? Where are we going? Do I want to go?
  4. Control – Who is in control? Will I have some control? How can I exert some control?

What does it all mean? The bottom line of Gibb’s Trust Theory is higher levels of trust correlate to higher levels of functioning in groups. And most importantly, this trust begins within the individual or the Self. Teams comprised of individuals who are comfortable showing up as themselves without fear of embarrassment or humiliation will have a high level of functioning.

In my next post, we will discuss how coaching helps individuals connect with their authentic selves.

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