EVER SAID THIS IN YOUR MIND? Of course you have. Everyone has. An important study on negotiation by Harvard University found that whilst ninety percent of people have positive intent in their dealing with us, eighty percent of the time—if we ask the above question as a filter—we attribute their intent negatively. Yes, that’s right, where people are motivated positively for the most part we see their motives negatively. Go figure! This is a powerful fact explaining why a great many communication conflicts emerge in the first place, especially when they shouldn’t.
So, what do we do with that?
We somehow need to bring cognisance of this issue to our conscious awareness so we can relegate that thinking, trusting the person in our midst—for any distrust can only harm the rapport.
Think about it. We risk when we trust people—we risk our emotions, our information, our results. But that’s all. When we’ve been disappointed in someone’s negligence of our trust we need to steel ourselves to remain ‘in faith.’ This is because that good healthy portion of the rest of the population we’re dealing with—the ninety percent—actually mean well. Even the person who’s disappointed us probably didn’t mean to.
Why should the deserving miss out when it’s only the minority who disappoint us anyway?
Additionally, we can see now how little some might trust us and how important then it is for us to trust first, as a basis of returned trust—the preparedness to make the first move. We almost need to foresee that people will gravitate toward a negative attribution of what we’re planning, saying or doing. Problem solve. Step out of the way. Trust them first.
All in all we need to be a little gentler with others and consciously avoid digging into the nebulous abyss of our own (often dead wrong) perceptions. In this, we save ourselves the time and wasted effort of relational stress and concern that’s often not even warranted.
People are people; no better or worse than ourselves. They don’t think about us in negative ways all the time as some of the more paranoid might imagine. It’s just not like that. The moment we jettison our egocentric views is the moment a genuine hope for relational freedom is realised, and a vision for the zenith of living life is captured!
Trust; simply trust. Even if you’ve been hurt, (with few exceptions) learn to trust again.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.