The Art of Creating a Trust Space
A Trust Space is a place where you feel completely free to be yourself.
There are no borders, no boundaries, no ‘what ifs’.
You feel safe, supported, protected and accepted, regardless of what you say or do. And this is the space from which you can grow.
For groups, it is the space from which they as a system can grow; an emergent space for ideas, developments, solutions to challenges that people may not even have thought of previously.
A trust space is an emergent arena for Personal and Society Development.
The trust space is full of paradoxes:
- It is only a sense, a feeling, yet it is very real for the person who experiences it.
- A Trust Space is always individual — it is after all, an individual feeling. Yet, it only exists in relationship to others.
- Other people in the group may or may not sense the same trust in the group as you.
- A trust space is the concrete foundation essential for the deep relationships that enable hidden potential to emerge. Yet, once you have experienced a Trust Space with a group of others, you are likely to sense you have a very delicate plant that needs continuous nurturing. And actually … it does!
Within the trust space, we have a continuous flow of relationships between the people, experiences and concepts, including those that may be thought to be outside it, yet are brought in by the people. Everything is intermeshed at multiple layers. It’s messy … and delicate. It cannot be mapped.
Yet this generative evolving flow of systems within systems creates a notion that itself is binary … Either trust exists in the space or it doesn’t. … Another paradox …
Any hint, however small, of lack of trust is restrictive, and therefore closes the space of potential.
Experience is the oxygen of the Trust Space.
The Space needs to be created anew on every single occasion.
A Trust Space is so personal that we can never (and should never) speak for others within it.
A Trust Space can never be forced.
There is no force.
It can never be assumed.
We can only set up the environment that enables it to emerge.
The Trust Space is only a true space if you surrender yourself to it.
How can we create a Group Trust Space?
While it is not possible to create a meaningful list of steps for creating a trust space — this is not about a linear process — we can talk about essential elements without which it cannot exist. And these elements may appear consciously or subconsciously. And for all elements, we need to ask ourselves Questions …
Focus — How can we formulate a meaningful Question that clarifies the reason for the group’s existence: its purpose?
Invitation — How do we need to invite group members to participate so that they actively support the initiative and feel a genuine invitation? Only those invited, not the inviter, are able to say whether they received such an invitation.
Powerful Questions — What are the Questions that really matter to the people, Questions awaken generative emotions within them?
Dialogue — How do we enable true dialogue in an emergent space that enables people to “see” with multiple eyes?
Listening Space — How do we enable a space to emerge in which all group members feel they can be heard, and feel connected?
In this trust space, the group generates energy, which itself enables previously unknown potential to rise to the surface.
With work groups, initially, a Trust Space is highly unlikely to emerge without deep facilitation.
Trust is a conversation with oneself … in every single interaction.