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My husband and I have been talking recently about trust (in a good way). Specifically, about being guarded or reserved.

It should be clear by now if you are a regular reader of my blogs that I’m a fairly open book. Ask me something personal and I’ll answer with the truth (ugly or not). I kid myself that I’ve always been this way. And I’d say that I’ve become more open in the last ten years or so. Before that, I was fairly difficult to reach unless I really trusted you.

Knowing that my trust was given carefully, I also noticed how many others have their guard up in some way. Do you notice that? Others can present simply as reserved and guarded, or they might come across with some kind of dissonance or lack of authenticity. What we notice is a withholding of sorts. And that can either invite curiosity or mistrust.

Harold MacMillan said: “A person who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of person nobody trusts.”

I believe we withhold our trust for many reasons. Culturally, we Brits are reserved, and can appear distant to other cultures. And if that’s our baseline, then other reasons not to trust can cause someone to feel and appear very locked away.

There’s plenty of research out there now that says trust, or psychological safety, is the foundation for successful team working. It’s absence in teams means they are unable to work cohesively and towards a common goal. Perhaps you are familiar with Patrick Lencioni’s work? Or Project Aritstotle?

Where are you with trust? Would you like more of it in a personal capacity or within a team you lead at work? Or both. Call me to explore with some one2one coaching. And my colleague Sue Sharp and I are doing some great work with teams too.