A Few Resources for Moving Ourselves and Others Toward Trust

In recent months we’ve been reflecting on trust building and mending the social fabric. Concurrently, I’ve had the opportunity to lead some group facilitation training sessions and have been coaching a few individuals who inhabit systems of dysfunction and distrust. All of this has had me thinking of various approaches to trust building that I’ve drawn from over the years. Today, I simply want to recommend just a few (there are so many more out there!) practical resources that have proven helpful.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Gratitude, vulnerability, humility, confession, forthrightness, purpose, shared suffering, koinonia. What else would you add to this list? There is much to be said about Paul’s trust with the church at Philippi, and their shared trust in Christ.

Bruce Tuckman’s stages of group development has held up remarkably well for over 50 years. I can’t imagine understanding how groups bond and build trust without a grasp of Tuckman’s basic insights.

Parker Palmer’s Circle of Trust and Clearness Committee models include several points of intersection with how TMC cohorts are facilitated. While there are a few differences of aim and content, the idea of creating courageous, supportive, and generative space is at the heart of both. Several cohorts have used the Clearness Committee format from time to time when it has been appropriate.

Brene Brown’s BRAVING inventory provides a helpful, simple pneumonic device for remembering what creates spaces for trust building.

I include Tony Stoltzfus’ book “Coaching Questions” because it’s one of the most easy-to-use guides for asking good questions and getting out of either-or binary thinking. Stoltzfus book is basically a Coaching 101 textbook, but it has proven helpful to several of our facilitators who are not trained coaches nor desire to be. It’s available from the publisher and other online booksellers, but there’s also a PDF version available.

There are so many more resources out there on facilitating and coaching others toward trust! If you’re interested to learn more, send me an email and let’s connect, ABorneman@MMinistry.org.

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