Tag Archives: trust

Collaboration: An Endangered Competence?

By Jim Selman | Bio

I cannot remember having experienced or even having read about a time when there have been so many “extremes” co-existing in terms of political points of view and ways of understanding the world. All seem to simultaneously have the quality of being both ‘life threatening’ AND intractable. Whether we’re discussing climate change, social justice, lifestyles, civil rights, the economy, our political process or the price of oil, everyone seems to have a strongly held point of view without much evident interest in learning or working toward some common resolution of our differences. It would seem collaboration is fast becoming extinct—an endangered competence.

Collaboration isn’t the same as compromise or negotiation. Collaboration is not about winning an argument or making the strongest case for a particular point of view. Collaboration is grounded in the simple notion that we can’t accomplish something alone. To collaborate means to accept and value our differences, rather than attempting to homogenize our thinking into some sort of bland agreement. Collaboration, like coaching, is primarily a process of creative

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Harold’s Story – Part 3

By Stuart J. Whitley | Bio

I read somewhere that good decision-making—indeed, good relations—depends upon a virtuous cycle of respect, trust and candour (which takes some time to establish, but which can easily be interrupted). Attitude, after all, is everything. Perhaps that last statement needs a bit of refinement: the ethical attitude is everything. By that I mean the determination of the answer to the age-old question: who is right? Was Harold right to express his annoyance

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Patience

By Shae Hadden | Bio

While waiting for the results of the U.S. presidential election to come in, I was musing on what patience is and how valuable it will be in the days ahead. Patience is the ability to endure without complaint, to persevere when things get rough, to tolerate without annoyance or provocation. Being patient is one way of relating to our circumstances and to time that allows us to avoid being victims. The way of patience is the way of surrender and trust—surrender to ‘what is’ and trust that our intentions will unfold in time.

The American people have patiently endured this months-long campaign…and, for the most part, have not been upset or annoyed with the slow playing out of their democratic process. Even though an urgent call for change echoes throughout both parties’ campaigns, the people’s commitment to democracy has allowed the political process to come to its own conclusion in its own time (without revolution). What awaits Americans next is to face their desperate need for unreasonable

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Privatizing Trust

By Jim Selman | Bio

One
of the central tenets of my work is that everything happens in a
context of relationship—a shared background of concerns, commitments
and practices—what I call a background of relatedness. We may make
commitments as individuals, but we always fulfill them in networks of
relationships with other people.

The other day I was asking, “What does it mean for an economy to collapse?” What is the worst-case scenario of the current ‘meltdown’ and ‘freezing

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Choice and Trust

By Shae Hadden | Bio

My life is my game—no one else’s. And I create the rules. What freedom, what choices, what responsibility! Playing ‘by the rules’ means playing according to choices I’ve made about what’s ‘best’ for me. And that’s left me in a quandary, because many ‘old rules’ don’t fit anymore. It’s time to examine them, keep the ones that still suit me and replace any unworkable ones. So here I am, wondering how to pick and choose from the rules I have been playing by.

Yet is it possible for us to know what choices, what rules will be ‘right’? We may very well be blind to possible consequences and dangers of what we’re choosing for our game. We may have committed to creating many new things, things that aren’t real yet. We can’t predict others’ reactions to these creations or what might happen with them based on past experience, because they have not existed in the world before. We may place ourselves in new situations, in circumstances

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Alcoholism and the Canary

In the late 80s, Anne Wilson Schaef and Diane Fassel wrote a book called The Addictive Organization. While I have a very different experience and theory than what they were proposing, I think their metaphor was perfect. For me, the idea that an organization or society can become ‘addicted’ is not a metaphor. I believe, like Charles Horton Cooley, that “Individuals and organizations

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Baby Boomers or Baby Busters

I have been having a lot of ‘state of the economy’ conversations lately. The consensus is that we are going in the wrong direction and the only question is how long, how deep and how prepared we are for the long haul. I made the observation that the economic consequences of a recession are only part of the problem. A recession is a trust issue. When credit dries up, it means that lenders don’t trust the borrowers to keep their commitments. It creates a kind of double-bind. Here is how it

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Lemons into Lemonade

Well, it happened again. I was mugged and robbed on the street in Buenos Aires—this time at 7:45 in the morning while walking on a major thoroughfare. I am normally pretty vigilant at night. This time, I stopped to window shop and before I knew it I was on the ground and the guy had pulled my wallet from my front pocket. I instinctively tried to kick him from the ground as he leaped over me and started running down Avenida Florida, which is a wide pedestrian boulevard. The next thing I know

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Prayer: Connecting with Possibility

My friends and I have been told by a couple of our wives and
girlfriends that we are a unique group of men. It is ironic that we
don’t really understand why, but we are all extremely open, vulnerable
and nurturing in our relationships with each other, as well as with
other people in our lives. I don’t know why, perhaps it comes with time
and the fact that we’ve all worked in some form of transformational
training for most of our careers.

Whenever we ‘Souls’ get together, we follow

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Dialogue

Most of us are fans of the idea of ‘dialogue’. Dialogue is generally touted as the answer for resolving conflicts, building trust and crossing cultural divides of all kinds—be they national, organizational, ethnic, racial, gender-based or generational. I was having a conversation recently with a very bright young woman in the same business as me and we were swapping stories and ideas and experiences.

Although we are both professional communicators and teach others how to communicate more

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