As we continue with the broader theme of Heart Intelligence and the role trust plays in this, I am reminded of this brilliance of inner knowing from Mandela who modelled and invoked so much trust in so many,

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.
If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

And what language is it, that speaks to our heart? It’s one that builds trust but, it seems we have forsaken for rather speaking at odds and with competing agendas. As a country we are in a crises of trust-less-ness, in leadership, policy, law making and breaking, as well as at a grassroots level of distrusting each other.

But, if you should think about this, distrust is only for those who stop asking questions from genuine curiosity and choose to remain in habitual judgemental thinking. The seekers of this world, continually question for greater awareness and knowing, and by so doing retain trust, in themselves, in each other and in a greater power. I’m not talking blind faith, but rather the type of trust where you trust in god and – still lock your car!

This ability to ‘know’ from within is educated out of us in favour of the logical mind and then later for those who choose it, rediscovered as part of the inner journey of life and living. As we gain more awareness through self discovery and questioning, we uncover more choice and with this more possibilities and more opportunity for contribution. As we grow in this way, a deeper trust in oneself and our part in a bigger plan emerges along with a knowing that we are not alone in this universe, and things are never as they appear to be. Sadly most people are lazy, or distracted, or too busy and find it too much effort to apply themselves in questioning and so miss out on enjoying this depth and richness to living.

We all know the process of how when something new emerges, the old gives way. This does not mean the new is good and the old is bad, it simply means change is happening and when that happens on a large scale such as we have in our world, 9/10 times it will invoke confusion and uncertainty as the stories in our heads do their best to take hold and justify our deepest fears.

What if you were to acknowledge and trust that anything is possible and nothing is ever as it seems? That you are never alone and everything you do, think, feel, be, does make a difference. There are so many who do not know this to be true, but what if you did? What difference might that make to how you show up in the world?

The principle of as above, so below, requires us to keep in mind our human strengths and foibles and how within the context of our lives and work, we need to take into account our part in the bigger picture. This includes how we behave toward each other, and now more than ever, has far greater import than we may realise.

Knowing all this, let us turn our awareness to this month’s topic of trust. As I researched, I found myself taking a real interest in the chemistry behind trust. From this viewing point, it all seems so simple really and where the real power of influencing trust lies.

Paul Zak was featured in the January–February 2017 Issue of the Harvard Business Review, with the article ‘The Neuroscience of Trust’.  In it he references his own and decades worth of Gallup research data, which consistently shows that high engagement, defined largely as “having a strong connection with one’s work and colleagues, feeling like a real contributor, and enjoying ample chances to learn”, leads to positive outcomes for both individuals and organisations. The rewards include higher productivity, better-quality products, and increased profitability.

Why this is so, is directly linked to the way our brains work. To be happy and connected with others, we need high levels of the neurotransmitters and chemicals, serotonin and oxytocin.

Many organisations have taken this research to heart and as Zak says ‘twisting themselves into knots to empower and challenge their employees’. Knowing that creating an employee-centric culture creates the optimum condition for our brain and is thus good for business, the question is, how do we go about this effectively?

Zak provides a clue when he brings up an excellent point from his research on how purpose driven work correlates with joy and the release of serotonin. Trust produces the same chemical so these conditions then mutually reinforce each other, providing a mechanism for extended oxytocin release, which produces the measurable quality of happiness. At the end of the day, there is a whole host of ROI benefits to the individuals and organisations who cultivate a culture of high trust and definitely worth looking into.

When it comes to relationships, Stephen Covey says “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships” By the same token, when relationships, teams and societies don’t have trust, a culture of fear and disengagement emerges. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this phenomenon can be observed world-wide and within our own psyche. The one thing you can do for yourself is to keep enquiring and not cave in to the stories in your head. For your own peace of mind, reconnect with the language of your heart and take on a practise of asking questions from genuine curiosity, that lead to more choice and more possibility. If not this, then find what speaks to your heart. You will be amazed what this will do for your own brain chemistry and well-being.

In wrapping up, have a listen to Colin’s vlog as he unpacks the behaviours which lead to high trust. For those seeking more from us, you will find it here in the Beyond Thinking program.

Other reading and viewing I can highly recommend on this topic includes Zaks’ HBR article ‘The Neuroscience of Trust’, a lucid article by Aaron Hurst on psychological safety and the neurochemicals behind this state and Ted Talks by Paul Zak: Trust, morality – and oxytocin? and Simon Sinek: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe



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