Season 3 Episode 36 – The Limitations of Unconditional Trust


“When people make trust so significant, it limits them in being able to move powerfully and navigate violations.”

When it comes to trust, people are prone to “either/or” thinking. Either “I  trust you 100%” or, once that trust is compromised in any way at all, “I can never trust you again!” In this episode, Kari and Paul show how this simplistic way of thinking precludes the possibility of real, lasting trust. Instead, we must begin somewhat counter-intuitively: by recognizing from the outset that human beings make mistakes and that betrayal is possible (if not probable). And yet—we can choose to trust anyways, knowing that in the event trust is broken, we have the tools to engage that conversation authentically and rebuild what was lost.

In This Episode:

00:56 – Breaking apart our belief in unconditional trust

02:41 – “Simple Trust”: a superficial view of trust that does not recognize human fallibility

05:03 – “Authentic Trust”: the ability to trust while recognizing a possible betrayal

06:00 – The dangers of making trust too significant or moral

11:03 – How leaders can bridge trust when its lost between team members

12:24 – Why both parties must be committed to the possibility of trust

14:35 – The untenability of a lack of trust

16:27 – The willingness to restore trust

17:36 – The big takeaways


“If your trust is based in the unthinking, unreflective, general default acceptance of trust-until-you-betray-me, then once betrayed, once a violation of trust happens, that’s it. There’s no recovery. Game over.” 

“Simple trust is an inattention, a blindness to the dynamics that form the basis of trust. It’s like ‘trust until proven guilty.” 

“When people make trust so significant, it limits them in being able to move powerfully and navigate violations.” 

“There’s a difference between the things that happened, and what those things meant to me.” 

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Our work is mosaic art. We read, study, and practice many philosophies, methodologies, and modalities of human performance, to ensure that our approach best serves our clients. We would like to acknowledge all of the thought leaders and organizations, whose ground-breaking work has influenced the Granger Network approach – especially Fernando Flores, Jim Selman, Michael C. Jensen, Julio Olalla, Pluralistic Networks, The Newfield Network, and the Strozzi Institute.

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