The Speed of Trust

Originally posted at Ed Administrators2.0

The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey is a must read for anyone who is involved with the change process. The book outlines how trust is the foundation for all the relationships. Whether it is in business or in our personal lives, trust binds all that we do together. I would recommend that this be a book that all educators read at some point as it is with incredible trust that parents send their children to schools all over world, trusting that the teachers in each classroom will be looking out for the best interest of each child, leading and learning so that each child is able to grow and develop within a safe and caring environment.

As a parent, I know that children trust us explicitly. I remember when our oldest daughter would jump of the top stair when I came home from school, laughing and giggling – trusting that I would catch her each and every time! That trust built over the years and, despite the that we were two very similar people (read subborn), she would still trust enough to talk about how things with her mom and I. That trust was a two-way street as we trusted her to make good decisions and, after graduation, sent her off, first to Loyalist College in Bellville, Ont and then, over seas to France where she has spent a year as an Au Pair. Her adventure will continue as she moves to Spain for another year. Through it all, she regularly Skypes home to talk with us and her 7 siblings and write letters and postcards to each of us, sharing her adventures. As parents, it wasn’t always easy to let go but we have learned that we need to trust that the foundation we have established when our children our young will be serve them as they move through youth to adulthood. To see how my eldest has faired, check out her site – Blue Eyed Site .

This is the trust that children bring with them as they enter classrooms each day. It is this trust that the relationships are built upon. In the book, Covey discussed the importance of trust – trust in ourselves and then trust in relationships and how these are key to building and developing situations in which people can achieve and succeed. He outlines 13 behaviours that are key to building trust in relationships – key for principals and administrators who are working to help people develop, bring about change and help to develop a safe and caring culture within their schools. Covey discussed the importance of developing trust with stakeholders. In education, the primary stakeholders would be parents. However, it is important to develop trust with all members of a community – even if they don’t have children in the school. Finally, Covey examines how “not extending trust is the greatest risk of all.”

This book, although not specifically focused on education, is definitely one that would be worth reading as an educator. I would recommend that all principals look at the “Creating an Action Plan” after reading through the 13 behaviours as part of the preparation for the upcoming school year.

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