My wife and I have been working with our five year old boy on trust and respect. Recently, we punished him for some negative behavior at school. As it was something the school had to call us about, we choose to take away his Legos until he can earn our trust back. I also let his martial arts instructor know about the situation so he could address it in his class. He choose to talk about self-control when we get angry and showing respect for other people which often involves keeping your hands, feet, body parts and ideas to yourself. His talk only lasted about five minutes as the class of four to six year old kids just couldn’t keep their focus.
Even if it seems to go in one ear and out the other or simply bounce off their skulls, there’s evidence the ideas sink in. Over the next couple of days, we had many discussions about what trust is and how to generate it. Often the conversations were provoked by our son. What’s interesting is how the idea relates to business quality systems. When a business gets certified to an international standard like ISO-9001 or AS9100, it boils down to saying what you do and doing what you say. There are findings that have to be addressed by the company in order to maintain their Quality Management System (QMS) certification when there’s a difference between what you do in business and say you do in documentation. There’s no difference when managing the biz of you.
Whether you are a five-year old working on building trust, someone in your twenties launching into a career, or a parent trying to teach your child how to get along in life, the principles are the same. When we tell people we are going to do something, it is to our long-term benefit to do it. Repeating this behavior of doing what we say over time instills a sense of trust and people learn to respect us. This is also simply respecting ourselves. If we don’t do what we say we are going to do, we undermine our own trust in ourselves. In essence if we are not true to our word and true to ourselves we lose respect and people don’t trust us. This in turn creates many difficulties.
Being true to ourselves happens every moment of our lives. Sometimes things just don’t work out, but inside we will know we did everything in our power to make it happen. Respecting ourselves in this manner throughout our lives, there’s no need to regret any of the things we have done. What happened, happened and could not have happened any other way because we did what we did with the information and awareness in that moment we were capable of doing. Trust emerges out of respecting ourselves and allowing our actions to express the truth of who we are.