It’s a fact that communication builds or destroys trust in every moment.
One of the ways to build trust instead of destroying it is this…
Be clear in your communication after you’ve gotten clear inside you.
*Be as clear as you can when you’re talking or writing…
*Be as clear as you can be when you’re listening…
Stay open. And if the person that you’re listening to says something that you’re not sure about or you don’t agree with…
*Ask for clarification in a way that invites the person to say more about the situation, instead of in a way that raises defenses and shuts him or her down.
Open, honest, loving communication is impossible to have if someone feels like they have to defend themselves against a perceived attack from someone who supposedly loves or cares about them.
This is why it’s so important to ask for clarity and more information about what the other person is saying, suggesting or asking (or not asking) in the situation.
Asking them how they see it or to say more about the topic is huge in a situation where there could be a misunderstanding.
Here’s the problem with communication…
We all live in separate realities.
All of us make up “stories” based on our unique experiences and beliefs that we accept as truth when a situation doesn’t go exactly as planned or someone doesn’t do what we thought they agreed to do.
And those “stories” muddy communication and hold us back from the clarity and connection we want.
Here’s a question from a reader that’s a great example of how communication builds or destroys trust–and our answer…
“I am having a hard time with a family member keeping their word about an agreement we made. For example, now they say they are waiting to hear back from another person, who totally has nothing to do with the agreement this family member and I made. I now feel that I cannot trust that the family member will stick to our agreement and I don’t know what to do.
“How do I communicate this to them in a way that will build trust between us? For example, would it be an option to say to them – ‘I feel uncomfortable when I notice you are changing the agreement we made. I would like to build trust with you.’
It looks to us like your family member wanted to change your agreement but didn’t communicate that to you. It’s also possible there was no agreement in the first place even though you thought there was.
That happens, especially in families where people hold back and don’t say what they are really thinking because they don’t want to “hurt” someone’s feelings.
For whatever reason, this person is staying in touch with you and it gives you an opportunity to ask for clarity.
Rather than put them on the defensive by telling them you’re uncomfortable with them changing the agreement and you’d like to build trust with them…
You have to look at the purpose of this agreement.
Is it to build trust or is it to resolve some issue?
If it’s to resolve an issue, the more open you are to asking for more information, the closer you’ll come to agreeing.
For instance, you could ask what information from this other person your family needs and for what purpose.
You can also ask what they would like in this situation and then you can see if there’s common ground in what you’d like.
When you ask from genuine curiosity and with a loving heart, the person will give you an honest answer with no defense.
Life and relationships don’t have to be so complicated although we all make them that way.
To build more trust, seek clarity and set your stories aside.
When you do, you’ll find more love than you ever thought possible.