Several weeks ago, I received a blast from Stephen Covey, introducing his new mantra, ‘The Speed of Trust’, offering me and others the opportunity to enroll in the initial web-cast with Stephen. This introductory web-cast offered the opportunity to issue pre-cast queries that would, if time permitted, be answered during the web-cast.

Here was my question: In my opinion, trust can only be based upon ‘truth’. What or who’s ‘truth’ is the basis for your program ‘The Speed of Trust’?

You should know that the blast from his organization was seeking disciples interested in either bringing the program to their company or those wanting to pursue the blessing of his organization to gain certification as a coach in this subject matter.

My question was not amongst those chosen to be answered during the web-cast. In fact, although I brought it up during all their follow-up contact emails they somehow never got around to substantiating the basis for ‘trust’.

So I offer…

Veritas; absolute truth; n. the state of quality of being true; accuracy; sincerity; integrity and agreement with fact.

Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘the truth, according to [fill in the blank]’. In other words, it is that person’s truth. But, and a big but; what if no one would agree with that person’s truth or — it can’t be substantiated — the facts aren’t available to others, so if I say it’s true they can’t prove otherwise — parts are true — they want it to be true — if I present it as the truth it will be — it’s not true today but it will be someday, etc. Bottom line; it doesn’t agree with current facts, e.g. it is not the truth.

The problem with untruth or mistrust is most often not with the offender (not that I am endorsing that behavior at any level), but with the offended. Wait a minute, you told me a lie and I’m the problem? Yes, maybe, and only with what happens next, because we tend to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior.

Psychologist and author William James has written that many have either experienced or witnessed the treatment of an offender who attempted to make amends. Typically, the offended person is unforgiving and refuses to be reconciled. This can lead some offenders to a hardened attitude and willingness to repeat the offense to others, that is, being untruthful or untrustworthy, after all everybody does it, right? They kind of adopt an ‘attitude’, because they were spurned by the person they tried to reconcile to. We know this ‘attitude’ is wrong and not justifiable, but some can take that position.

Recommendation for ‘Veritas’, and/or to regain that special place in another’s heart; the offender must first…
A. …recognize and believe that he/she is wrong,
B. …be truly contrite,
C. …say so,
D. …and avoid a repeat, allowing time to prove sincerity.

The offended must first, be willing to forgive and forget. Like saying, ‘I’m sorry’ can be spurious, so can saying, ‘I forgive you’. It is just as shameful to fake forgiveness as it is remorse. Not easy for either side, I know, but an abridged line from a prayer comes to mind…forgive me as I have forgiven…

2009 will reveal new trials and change, both personally and professionally. I have heard the apprehension of staff, and those of management and ownership. Following are some initial steps you might consider regarding truth and trust.

Know what is true: Veritas must be based on something other than your opinion, convenience of the moment or your feelings. Don’t try to justify or rationalize, this is not a Dr. Phil moment.
Forgive yourself and forgive others: Guilt can consume and define you. Forgive yourself of your wrongdoings and shortcomings. Do not attempt to correct weaknesses, know your strengths and build on them. Next, if is not a strength, make it one; forgive and reestablish a relationship with someone who has violated your trust. Don’t follow your heart, lead your heart.
Do your job and beyond: If you are reading this, you’re probably not the person who has the ‘it’s not my job’ attitude. Nonetheless, ask yourself, can I perform my job in a way that the results can be quantifiable? Consider keeping a daily/weekly/monthly log, tracking output. Why? Veritas includes accountability, both professionally and personally. If you do this for recognition, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Trust your ability to receive guidance for your own life.
Stay Committed: Make commitments to yourself and others carefully. Do not over-promise and under-deliver. Don’t later say, ‘I didn’t mean it’ or ‘I shouldn’t have promised’. Making and keeping commitments to others first, yes, others, is the key to success in making and keeping commitments to yourself as well.

Note: Assuming you and I are part of the human race, we will occasionally fail. We will tell a lie, we will fall short of our commitment and so forth. You are not in control of another’s forgiveness, but when failure happens, let nothing get in your way of confession and reconciliation.

Partis Duo may or may not appear next, stay tuned.

Now the lighter stuff: I know many of you have been concerned with Black Jack’s food, loosing sleep, etc. Yes, I did go back to buying the ‘good stuff’ or at least the ‘expensive stuff’ and he is eating high toned once again. We have had a male, Silver Fox, no not Charlie Rich, that has been visiting for the last year or so. When I get home late from the office or a meeting I see him lurking when I go to the barn to feed the boys. He doesn’t run off, he just watches me and has that look that says, ‘bout time you got home to feed the boys’. Last night I saw his mate. I hope some night to see them together.
It’s time for a shave and a hair cut for each of the boys, Sergeant, Woodrow and Cheyenne. They don’t hold still as well for me as they do for someone else I could name, but I do the best I can.

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