What is trust?
Charles Feltman, author of, The Thin Book of Trust: An Essential Primer for Building Trust at Work, defines trust and distrust in the following way:
Trust: Choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions
Distrust: Deciding that what is important to [you] is not safe with this person in this situation (or any situation)
Boundaries: What’s okay and what’s not okay.
Reliability: You do what you say you’ll do.
Accountability: You own your mistakes, apologize, and fix it if you can.
Vault: You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share.
Integrity: You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them.
Non-judgment: You can ask for help without being hard on yourself and you’re not hard on others who need help.
Generosity: You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others.
A relationship or environment is rooted in trust when each of these seven elements is present.
Why is it important to build trust?
- Linking social capital
Norms of respect and networks of trusting relationships that exist between people who are interacting across formal or institutionalized power gradients (ex. the relationship between a teacher and student)
- Bonding social capital
Trusting and cooperative relationships between a group of people who see themselves as being similar in terms of social identity (ex. the relationship between two Caucasian, male students in your class)
- Bridging social capital
Norms of respect and networks of trusting relationships that exist between people who are more or less equal in terms of status and power but who are not alike in some sociodemographic sense (ex. the relationship between a younger and older student)
Where can I learn more?
What will students learn?
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to…
- Clearly explain the seven elements of trust
- Identify the agreed-upon classroom guidelines for each element of trust
- Provide examples of specific behaviours that align with the guidelines
- Feel safe and supported by all of the students and staff who contribute to the classroom ecosystem
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Feltman, C. (2008). The Thin Book of Trust: An Essential Primer for Building Trust at Work. Thin Book Publishing.
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