This week’s MMT was supposed to be about victories, but I couldn’t get motivated to write specifically about that. So, I’m changing the topic to one I have a great deal of passion about, relational trust. Let’s see if I can somehow tie that into victories.

Parker Palmer says, “Relational trust is built on movements of the human heart such as empathy, commitment, compassion, patience, and the capacity to forgive.”

I’m not sure I have much to add to that clear, concise, accurate statement, but I’ll give it a try.

We know that trust has to be built over time and that it can be dismantled in a New York nanosecond. When we say we are going to have a heart-to-heart with a friend, a co-worker, a client, we know we are going to speak from a place of vulnerability and that can be downright scary.

How might our relationships both personal and professional fare if we pay close attention to each area of his quote? Let’s take a look. Can we really feel what the “other” is feeling? Perhaps not always, but we can always be willing to ask – and to listen. Can we have compassion and patience with our colleagues and those close to us? Of course we can if we show up with the intention to do so.

Do we know what it means to sincerely forgive? I’m pretty good at a few of the areas, but the vulnerable  thing and the ability to fully forgive are still elusive in my desire for mastery of all things human. Oh, that’s right, I’m human – no argument from anyone about that.

Parker says it’s the movements of the heart that build relational trust, so I’ll take that movement to mean if we come to each important relationship with a willingness to move toward each other that will count for something. And all those small somethings may lead to one big victory for us, our colleagues, and our clients. Trust me.

By Mary Anne Wampler,