Hello Everyone! I hope this Newsletter finds you a little closer to BETTER this month!


This Month’s Issue:

For Everyone: Trust: It’s Everything!

Getting to Better™ Kindness Partners and Friends

MYRIAD Update: Amazing Training Opportunities for Leaders and Frontline Social Service Workers

Exciting Announcement: We are honoured to feature an Interview with G2B friend and colleague Dr. Michael Ungar, in the November Newsletter Issue. Michael shares his insights, gained from more than 25 years of practice experience and research, on the Importance of Resilience and our Children.



Trust: It’s Everything!

One of the main goals of Getting to Better™ is to make the lives of many people Better.  This Getting to Better Newsletter is aimed at helping people enhance and protect the trust in their relationships. The discussion attempts to simplify, to the extent possible, the concept of trust. This particular newsletter has been influenced by the thousands of conversations I have had with people over the past several years. Whether I am speaking with a parent, an executive, a teacher, a partner within a couple or a teenager, at least 90% of the conversations focus on the importance of TRUST. When things are going well, we rarely ever speak or hear about the word. However, when things aren’t going well the concept of Trust and, more importantly our own experience with it becomes a central part of the focus and/or conversation.

Trust is the thing that holds relationships together and strengthens them. It is the ingredient that gets families through tough times and keeps children and youth safe. Trust is what makes organizations more successful and the employees within those organizations satisfied and engaged in their work.  Trust is an important element in learning; teachers and classrooms that operationalize trust, foster environments where learning and growth are optimized! Effective discipline is also about Trust. For a more elaborate discussion on discipline see HERE.

TRUST is everything!

Most us know what trust feels like. We know when it is held and cared for. Unfortunately, too many of us know what it’s like to have trust betrayed or broken. Trust is one of those things that can take a long time to build, but if we are not careful, it can be jeopardized; even destroyed in a moment.  Unfortunately, most people do not intend to hurt others and, the breech of personal or professional trust is often unintentional and/or accidental.

People, who have jeopardized, wounded or destroyed the trust with someone they care about or are responsible for, feel remorseful and wish in some way that they could do things or say things again; even if it could be done a little bit differently or BETTER. Many of us can relate to a time or place where we wish we could have another chance to do or say something differently in order to salvage as much trust as possible.  Maybe it was with a partner, a child, a friend, an employee, a student, a colleague or a parent.

What if we could somehow minimize the potential damage to our relationships? What If we could decrease the number of times trust is jeopardized, damaged or destroyed? What if we could strengthen our current relationships and maybe even reclaim those that have been wounded?

I think we can. The remainder of this G2B™ Newsletter will offer some simple and straightforward ideas for understanding the often complex concept of trust and offer practical suggestions to enhance trust in all relationships.

What is Trust?

Trust is about vulnerability and trust is about safety. Trust is about the idea that I will be “ok” or “alright” in a relationship in which someone has responsibility (to some degree) for my emotional, mental, physical, and/or spiritual well being.  It may be my mother. It may be my teacher. It may be my supervisor. It may be my partner.

Trust is built and maintained when the actions, behaviors, interactions of the person we are vulnerable with are favorable or beneficial to us in some way or; at least not detrimental. When the actions, behaviors or interactions of the other person are not favorable or are even detrimental to our well being in some manner, trust can be jeopardized, damaged or even destroyed.

One way of gauging trust in relationships is to reflect on our own experience. Think about a time when you were dishonest; a time when you were asked your opinion or perspective and, you decided to tell your teacher, partner, boss or parent something other than the “truth”.  I will guess that you may have been worried about the consequences of your response or your feedback. Most people will answer questions honestly when they are sure it is safe; that is, they can say what they need to say without fear of judgment, criticism, blame, accusation and/or some type of repercussion. Accurate, honest, straightforward communication and feedback is based to al large degree on the level of trust in the relationship of those communicating.  When there is trust and we feel safe with the other person, we can speak openly and honestly about our perspectives and experiences.

We all have to be so careful; that what we say or do does not compromise the safety of those we care or are responsible for. Know that when we act in a way that is not favorable or, is somewhat detrimental to them and/or their well being, we are possibly jeopardizing, damaging or destroying the trust in those very relationships we care about.

Trust – Perception is Reality

The more I get to know people, the more I understand that it is less essential what I perceive as important in my relationships as it is, what the other people perceive. Perception is Reality. What I mean here is that I may think I “know” what trust means to me and what I need in my relationships to maintain and strengthen it, but…what does it mean to the others I am in relationship with? What does it mean and what does it look like? What are my son’s needs and desires for trust? What are my employees’ needs and desires for trust? What does trust look like, what does it sound like and what does it feel like?

Sometimes we think we know these things and, to a large extent we do; however when we do not know the answers to these questions, there is room to accidentally and unintentionally jeopardize, damage or destroy the trust in relationships. How often have you heard or experienced that the breech in trust was the result of an unknown perception or mis-communication? The problem often lies in the different perceptions and experiences of the people involved.

Suggestions for Enhancing and Maintaining Trust in ALL Relationships

Trust is everything. We cannot leave it to chance. We must take an active role in the relationships with those we care, or are responsible for.  The following are some suggestions on how to do just that.

  1. Make trust in all relationships a priority.
  2. Consider your own needs and goals for trust.
  3. Convey your needs and desires for trust to those who are responsible for your well-being.
  4. Ask those that you care, or are responsible for to express their needs and goals for enhancing and maintaining trust in the relationship.
  5. Just listen! Do not defend or dismiss what they say.
  6. Listen to what the needs and goals are. What does trust look like, feel like?
  7. Try to identify as specifically as possible what things will build trust.
  8.  Try to identify what things may jeopardize or damage trust.
  9.  If you are a parent, you can find suggestions for having this type of conversation with your kids HERE

10. If you are a supervisor or manager you can find additional suggestions on this topic HERE

Be prepared that this can be a difficult area to explore, as it is where we are all the most vulnerable. Also, many of us have not been taught how to operationalize trust in our relationships. Finally, know that it is one of those relationship areas that may be difficult, but will get easier as you make it a common aspect of your personal and professional relationship priorities.

If you would like some additional tips on building and maintaining trust, be sure to check out next months Getting to BetterÔ  Newsletter – “Becoming Approachable”.


Getting to Better™  – Kindness Partners and Friends

Life Vest Inside™

The new Life Vest Inside™  website has been launched and the Crowd Funding Campaign is over.  We reached our goal and raised $75, 000!

Thanks to all of the Beautiful People who have made contributions to the LVI movement.  Check out the Wall of Fame to see the smiling faces of so many wonderful contributors! It can be found HERE!

Remember that Getting to Better™ and Life Vest Inside™ are partners in making the lives of many people and the world overall BETTER. Please take a moment to check out the amazing projects we are working on HERE.

See Beautiful™

Another one of our Amazing World Enhancing Partners is See Beautiful™. We have partnered on an unbelievable children’s book, written by See Beautiful™  CEO and Founder, Lydia Criss Mays.  It will be featured in next month’s G2B™ Newsletter.

See Beautiful™  has a great product line; all profits raised are used to support many world enhancing causes.

See Beautiful™ has just released a new See Beautiful™ Vegan Handmade Soap which is superb. Now we can See Beautiful™ and Smell More Beautiful too!  You can check out the Soap and the great product line HERE.

Dr. Jean Clinton

Jean and Steve will be presenting their first in a series of workshops in Winnipeg Manitoba on November 15, 2013 entitled Engaging Kids Involved in Systems: The Brain, The Environment and the Whole Child.  Please see the MYRIAD Events Page HERE for more information.

Dr. Michael Ungar

Friend and colleague Dr. Michael Ungar continues to work at making the lives of children, youth, families and communities BETTER. Check out one of his latest works from the Nurturing Resilience Blog at Psychology Today.

We are honored to have an interview with Michael as the feature on Resilience in the upcoming November G2B Newsletter. You will not want to miss it!


MYRIAD Update: Amazing Training Opportunities for Leaders and Frontline Social Service Workers

Friday October 18, 2013 – Calgary Alberta, Canada

Responsive Leadership: Relational and Strengths Based Strategies for Supervisors and Managers

For more information and registration details please CLICK HERE.

Friday November 15, 2013 -Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Engaging Kids Involved in Systems: The Brain, The Environment, The Whole Child with Dr. Jean Clinton and Stephen de Groot

For more information and registration details please CLICK HERE.

Thursday November  28, 2013 – Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada!

Responsive Leadership: Relational and Strengths Based Strategies for Supervisors and Managers

For more information and registration details please CLICK HERE.