Trust is the cornerstone of effective relationships. It can be built, spent, abused, lost, regained, and accumulated slowly over time — like coins in a dish. Or as we like to say, like marbles in a jar.
Dr. Brené Brown frequently discusses trusting her social research on professional success and relationship-building, and she always explains it in the same way — the marble jar. Her daughter’s kindergarten class ran on The Marble Jar Principle — do something good? Marbles go into the jar on the teacher’s desk. Do something bad? Marbles come out. Fill up the jar? Pizza party. Easy enough to understand.
Good news: Trust works the same way.
As professional marketers, the success of our projects, our teams, our jobs, and our careers hinges on our ability to distribute our proverbial marbles adequately. Within our teams, we must lend out enough marbles (trust) to delegate properly, but we must also maintain the amount of marbles (trust) our clients and direct reports have placed in our jars.
Thankfully, there are basic guiding principles that make this social juggling act easier; lines we learned as soon as we could talk — golden-esque rules like “Clear is kind,” and “Honesty is the best policy.”
So why isn’t trust easy? How do we fall out of marble collecting practice over the years? And more than that, how do we regain the ability to understand, build, and maintain trust as adults? How do we responsibly incorporate our personal values into our professional relationships to build stronger teams, create better work, and increase our professional success?
That’s what we’ll be diving into this quarter. We’ll walk through the importance of trust, how it’s built, how it’s lost, and how it can be improved and maintained across relationships. It may get uncomfortable, but it’ll be totally worth it.