October 20

Trust is the foundation of all great creative work. Without it, it can be nearly impossible to take risks, venture into uncharted water, or mention an idea that might not be received well by others. You must trust that on the other side of that effort is the possibility of a brilliant result, and that others are on your side and will help you deliver on your objectives.

However, we often breach trust in unknowing ways. One way this happens is by making promises to others that we aren’t certain we will be able to deliver on. I call this “declaring undeclarables.” For example, “we are absolutely going with your idea for this project”, or “I will definitely meet with you on Tuesday at 1PM”, or some other seemingly minor promise that we make with every intention of delivering upon, but circumstances change and we’re unable to do so. While it might seem minor in the moment, these small breaches of trust add up over time, and they can compromise our ability to garner team trust in important moments when we need to rely on one another to take a creative risk.

Don’t declare undeclarables. Make certain that you can deliver on your promises before you make them.

Question:  Have you breached trust by declaring an undeclarable? How can you mend it?

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