Inspired Action For Imperfect Humans – S2 EP20: “Woah! Are You Trustworthy?” Pt. 1

Woah! Are You Trustworthy?

“Woah! Are You Trustworthy” Pt.1 Brief Summary of Show: 

Trust. What is it? Why do we give our trust, why do we lose it? What do we need to feel trusted? What do we need to put our trust in someone? In this Inspired Action 2-part episode hosts Kyle and Christopher discuss trust in business, between employees, in leaders, in our teams, in our personal relationships and answer these questions.

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“Woah! Are You Trustworthy?” Pt. 1 Transcript:

Trust the process.

But then you’ll talk forever and then you’ll move onto the next subject and we won’t get an opportunity to say it.

If someone-

Basically, this is why we got divorced.

[Narrator] Is the thought of being imperfect keeping you from taking action? Welcome to “Inspired Action for Imperfect Humans.” Each week, we give you real life stories and thought provoking research that inspires your soul to live a more fulfilled life through your own actions. From the heart of Calgary, Canada here are your hosts, award winning coaches Christopher Lawrence, and Kyle Kalloo.

Welcome, welcome, welcome to another exciting podcast. Where’s the trust at these days? Like, who’s trustworthy in the city? Who has trust? You know, here’s an interesting thing. First of all before I get started-

Well can I say something? Can I say something?

I was just gonna say Christopher, hello, how are you?

Hi Kyle.

How are you?

Hi, listen I was gonna say if we’re looking for trust, we won’t find it in you.

Okay, that actually might be true on one particular occasion and I’m gonna talk about that in a little bit, in a second, ’cause here’s the thing.

I can’t wait.

For leaders-

Folks, this is being recorded and Kyle never admits his mistakes ever.

Woah! Are you trustworthy?
Woah! Are you trustworthy?

We are plagued with this thing about trust. And I think there’s two camps of trust and I’m curious where you sit on trust. There’s one camp that says listen, you have to earn my trust. Like, you have to earn it, you have to do things to earn it, I don’t give it away, it takes time for me, depends on what’s happening, right? So that camp that hey, you have to earn my trust, right? And then the other camp, which is like me who’s like I have no reason not to trust you. Like, I’ll freely give it. I’ll freely say hey, you know what? Sure. Until you prove me wrong, right? Until you’ve done something that is not trustworthy. So, which camp are you in, a or b?

Yeah, I’m in the camp that says trust requires equaling levels of vulnerability. So I think that in society we have hiring, we create hierarchies in society and I think my value system says that if you are higher on that hierarchy, and look, I’m not saying I like the hierarchy ’cause my position is that like, human beings are human beings, so I don’t care if your name is Oprah Winfrey, the Queen of England or whatever, you’re just another human being who’s making like, I really don’t do the pedestal thing very much in life. And I’m so sorry Kyle, that means you have fallen from grace in my eyes. Anyway, .

Everyone has fallen from your grace. That’s a true story.

So from my perspective, I think it requires equaling levels, so my value system says that if you’re higher on that level or you believe you’re higher on that level even though it’s just a manmade thing, right? Or human made thing rather. Then I think you need to lead with vulnerability to create trust first. That doesn’t always happen, so maybe you’re a leader or someone in your life that would be considered higher on this stupid hierarchy we create, has had some trauma or something so you then, that person might need to lead with vulnerability instead. But I think that trust comes from equal vulnerabilities and we see this because trust gets broken so fast, when one person is more vulnerable than another person, and then they continue to be vulnerable and the other person doesn’t go there, then the person who’s vulnerable stops sharing, they stop being vulnerable, they stop showing up so that’s kinda, like maybe I take a weird perspective. So I do think that trust is earned, I think trust is earned. But we have to have a starting place and it’s, you know, I say we start fairly at a micro level and then we just grow.

Okay, okay, I want to go back to-

You know, like it grows and grows, but it has to grow on both sides.

Yeah, I want to get to vulnerability, trust in a second. You know, the work that we do, we usually call it vulnerability based trust, so I want to get back to that in a second, what you mean by that. So because I’m sure people are wondering, like trust is trust, right? I just wanna go back to something you talk about, the hierarchy there for a second ’cause right or wrong, people are gonna put people in that type of you know, different categories, ’cause when you’re a leader you know, based on your title, regardless of how you know, approachable you are, people have a certain way of perceiving you, right or wrong. They just do.


So they’re going to sometimes automatically figure well he’s a leader, I better trust him, right? And that’s usually what happens, we just see the value in that.

But that’s, that’s my problem with it too, because I am an employee advocate more than I am a leader advocate.

That’s true.

When I say that-


Leaders are just humans.
Leaders are just humans.

When I say that, that doesn’t mean I’m against the leader, I’m not against the leader. What it means is that I think leaders forget how far they’ve come, and I think they’re so busy trying to manage what their higher ups are giving them that they’re not, that they’re actually forgetting to lead with human first, right? They’re forgetting to lead with the human factors. So here’s the thing with this, one of the things that drives me nuts about the employee factor is that employee’s expectations of their leaders, because they do pedestal them, they’re out of line with reality. The reality is, is that all of our leaders are just human beings.


And they are far from perfect, and I think leaders, some of the reason why they get into where they are is because they’ve chosen to take on more risk and make more mistakes than other people who maybe choose to play it safe. I know there’s a whole bunch of bias in what I just said but do you understand what I’m saying?

Of course, of course. I do, I mean I do. And I think we could unpack that in a couple different ways as well. And yes, they are humans and sometimes you know, they’re believing the hype themselves thinking I cannot, since I’m the leader I cannot fail, I cannot this. And they create into something that is not sustainable. That’s the issue, it’s not sustainable. And then when they fall from grace so to speak then it becomes a bigger issue, right? And I’ve said you know, previously to teams that I’ve worked with, I’ve said listen, I don’t mind eating crow, I just like to eat it when it’s young and tender. I don’t need something that happened where you fail to tell me, you know, six, eight months-

Yeah, you need to know soon.

Yeah, I need to know soon so I can get in front of it.

My trust is instantly broken when, and you know, I have my own issue to work on around this, and I do. But when I’ve been vulnerable and I create what I believe is a safe space, so I share vulnerabilities, I express vulnerabilities, the whole bit, and then I find out six months later that somebody was pissed at me or didn’t like what I was doing, or was upset, I’m like, but you didn’t tell me. And especially if I find out about it through the grapevine, I’m just like, now I’m like, I go to that place, you know, it’s a trigger for me, like I go to that place of like, fuck you.


Trust and vulnerability.
Trust and vulnerability.

Like, you know, I poured my heart, I did my very best and the only thing I asked was that you came to me. And I know it’s hard to come, but I even tell people especially team members, but I tell friends, everybody I’m like, even if you don’t know what to say, you can say, “I’m upset with you and I don’t know the words, I don’t have the words.” Or whatever, but it’s like when I find out like, way after the fact that somebody didn’t say something and they’ve been harboring it, or it changed their impression of me without giving me an opportunity to respond to it, I lose so much trust in that moment.

Okay, so tell me about that. What happens when you lose trust in someone? How is the interaction usually like for you?

Well it’s, I’m a little bit similar to you because I know for you, like when Kyle’s done, he’s done. Like, you are dismissed. Like, he is, he’s done with you. For me, I’d say I have a little bit of that where it’s just like, I’m done with you but I think for me, the interaction, it’s certainly more contentious. And I tend to go to a place of questioning. So I try to you know, take, you know, take the approach of like, I need you to explain to me what happened. So I start to ask questions. And my intention is not to grill them, right?

But sometimes it feels that way.

I’m sure it can feel-

I can tell you from a personal, yeah. It feels that way, make no mistake.

Did you say I can tell you from the prisoners end?


Do you feel like you’re in a prison when you interact with me?

No, from the person that’s on the other end, sometimes it feels that way. And you know, there’s time where I think I’ve been chatting with you, and you’re like, “Yeah but” and I can’t even get a word in ’cause you already are saying, “Yeah, yeah.” And sometimes it could also feel punitive.

Yeah but to be fair you break trust with me at least four times a day so. So it’s different with you than it is with other people.

Okay. And I think that’s-

So it has to be, it has to be punitive, because that’s what you’re used to.

It doesn’t, it doesn’t have to be but I think that’s what’s happening for people. You know, ’cause I remember a situation where you know, we went through a period in the business where you know, the expenses were going more out faster than the income was coming in. You know, I’ll never forget this day and maybe it’s the triggering of the date that’s coming up, it was on June 18th, I was in Atlanta, Georgia and it happened to be my birthday as well and so you called, and you were calling about all these other things. And in that moment, I’m just like, I already know it’s gonna work out but in that moment, you know, you’re seeing numbers and you’re seeing different things and you just, and I just thought oh, I need to tell him this. But you know, so the vulnerability based trust for me is about, I have to tell him this, he’s gonna react the way he’s gonna react which is not gonna be good, right? And I just have to allow that to happen, right? ‘Cause sometimes we’re trying to spare ourself, right? When we’re not honest with certain things and I think that’s one of the things when we talk about how you can increase trust with people is by being honest. And it’s sometimes withholding that honesty where we’re like, well I wasn’t lying and these are the things we tell ourself is because we’re trying to avoid the interaction or the conflict, right? That’s happening, and I know for me, that’s exactly what I was trying to avoid. Especially on my birthday, dude. Like it was my birthday, and you’re asking me these stupid ass questions about, where’s this, where’s the money coming from from this? What about this expense? Let me understand, try, and you was just going off-

See, if you took care of business before you left it wouldn’t have happened on your birthday but-

Sure, probably.

You left.

Probably, I’m like I didn’t want to deal with it.

I’m like, I’m gonna take an opportunity here, and you know.

I’m being honest that I did not want to deal with it, that I did not want to have that conversation.

Is it Canadian to avoid conflict?
Is it Canadian to avoid conflict?

See, but that does happen though, right? Like I think that it does happen and we do fear other people’s reactions for sure we do. We fear other people’s reactions, we don’t want to let people down. I think in North America we have a funny, we’re funny about it. I think particularly in Canada, if I’m stereotyping, and I am stereotyping, not all Canadians are like this way but just in my own bias, my own experience, you know, I see a lot of this, there’s more avoidance of conflict than there is actual, like have conflict and learn to make it productive.


Which is something you teach actually, you teach productive conflict in your team trainings.

Yeah, and so this is what happens, when you think about you know, not, and this is not just leaders, this is individual team members, followers, people on the team. I think when we think about trust and then I’ll give you an opportunity to respond to this in vulnerable based trust, is when we talk about vulnerability based trust in our workshops that we do, you know, one of the main thing is, vulnerability based trust is admitting mistakes, is actually asking for help, right? Sometimes it may sound like listen, I actually messed up, right? Using one of Christopher’s common words, I effed up. You know what I mean? You know, and just saying this is what it is and knowing that it can go either way, right? That’s the vulnerability, not knowing how it’s going to play out, right? What would you say when you think of vulnerability based?

Yeah, that only works, I agree with you. That only works when, like it does have to be non-punitive. Which doesn’t, like here’s the thing is that we all have different impressions of punitive. Like, if your boss is disappointed or angry, some people perceive that as being punitive but here’s the thing, or your employee even, right? Your team member. People are allowed to have their emotions and so we end up in this weird messed up situation in our culture where I feel like it’s like, we don’t make it safe for people to admit their mistakes.


We don’t make it safe for people to admit their mistakes. We… Because we have emotional reactions and I think in our society, we tend to be punitive on top of punitive. Like, making the mistake is punitive enough. The person feels like crap already. We don’t need to further punish and further punish, and further punish on top of the mistake that they’ve made. That is you know, that’s the problem and then the other issue is that I think in North America, we actually don’t have a good relationship with anger. We see it as wrong or bad or whatever, but anger is an emotion we have. There’s nothing bad about anger, there’s nothing bad about disappointment, it’s just we don’t have a good relationship with it.

And sometimes-

So we don’t allow ourselves to feel angry, we’re suppressed. And so between those two things, we can’t actually have a real vulnerable, authentic interaction.


Because we’re afraid to make mistakes, we’re afraid to admit those mistakes and then when we admit them, we see someone’s anger as punitive and it’s like no, that’s not punitive. People are allowed to be angry and disappointed in you.

Yeah, and even-

That won’t last forever.

Yeah, and even when you get angry, sometimes we feel that we have to make the other person feel the same, right? It’s like I’m angry right now so you have to be angry and you have to feel what I’m feeling.

That’s right.

And we have to share that instead of just saying-

But I get that from a perspective of empathy though. People do need validation for their emotions.

Sure. Yeah, but not to the point, and I think if they don’t get that what we often see is that they go to a place where I need you to feel it too then, right? And there’s nothing about I need you to feel it to understand it. Here’s another example that just happened this morning.

I think sincerity plays it, sorry I gotta say something on this. I think girl, when you said it just happened this morning, now I’m nervous because I’m like, what bombshell is he gonna drop on me that he wouldn’t tell me before we got on this podcast.

No, this is good.

Here’s the thing with, here’s the thing with, with this stuff.


I think sometimes, I think when we talk about empathy some people that I know, who’s initials are KK might, they go through the motions of empathy, but it doesn’t always come across as sincere, they’re going through the, I’m gonna check the box, but it’s not like whoa, you know what, like I, I get why you’re angry. You know, like man, you have every right to be upset. Right, like I think a lot of people miss the opportunity for the sincerity through the empathy-


Do you understand?
Do you understand?

But they’re going through the motions, and they’re saying words, and I hear this all the time, I understand why you feel that way. Bitch, you don’t understand anything if you’re saying it like that. I want you to go to the place of like, I understand that you’re angry and I understand that you’re angry you know, maybe because it makes more work for you. Like, or I understand that you might be angry because like, I think there’s a, in these trainings, what people have been taught through the you know, maybe the late 90’s, 2000’s when we were learning communication tools, we were taught what to say but we weren’t, but we weren’t taught how to feel about what we’re saying. And I think that that’s the part that’s missing because it did miss sincerity and without sincerity, trust will never be there. You’re welcome, thank you, podcast over.

Listen, I can understand that but we have to be mindful too that you know, you either trust what the person says or they don’t, right? If the pattern repeats itself, then that’s a different conversation because-

No, I think that’s too black and white, Kyle. I disagree.

You can’t tell someone-

It’s not that you-

Especially me, you cannot tell someone how I’m gonna feel and how I’m not gonna feel, right? Because I know me.

It’s not about you feeling it, it’s about you-

Hold on, let me finish.

And not just you, not just you.

Trust, trust the process.

I’m talking generally with people. But it’s not-

Trust the process, let me finish.


Okay, trust the process.

But then you’ll talk forever and then you’ll move onto the next subject and I won’t get an opportunity to say it.

If someone-

Basically, this is why we got divorced.

If someone was tracking, they’ll realize you talk way more than I do, okay?

It’s true.

Let the church say amen.


So let me just come back to that, it’s just, if you, ’cause what I heard was if you’re missing the words to really validate the person understood what you’re saying then that’s a different story. Because there’s times when yeah, I admit I’m, I get it, got it, that’s a thing, I’m ready to move on, I don’t want to be crying over spilt milk. Some people want to cry over spilt milk, I’m not saying one is better than the other. But if you’re saying hold on Kyle, I think you’re moving too fast, I need to understand, when you say you understood what happened, what exactly is it? ‘Cause it’s important for you to hear those words and understand that, not a problem. But just because I don’t say it in that moment doesn’t mean I don’t understand, nor do I care.

I think this is the problem with leadership though is that there isn’t enough of the human first. And human first requires and emotional connection.


And I know there’s some leaders out there, there’s some pragmatists and objective thinkers, I’m making quote signs, that say this. But there was, Kyle there was a meta-analysis done on thousands of studies about emotion. And when we talk about be objective, remain pragmatic, check your emotions at the door, that is, unless you are not neuro typical, that is humanly, it is biologically impossible. Every circumstance we have goes through emotion first. It goes through emotion first. It’s just some people lead with emotion and some people have it tucked further back but it is impossible to bypass emotion.

Totally agree with you.

Are you emotionally intelligent?
Are you emotionally intelligent?

Unless you are not neuro typical. So why I’m bringing this up is because when we lead with human first, it does require something called emotional granularity, this is part of emotional intelligence. It means, ’cause this is what happens, people check the box, it’s like I understand why you feel that way. And it’s like, but that’s just a transaction that we were taught to say. We were not taught to feel through that transaction. Emotional granularity is a part of emotional intelligence. Emotional granularity means we use emotion specific words in a granular way. By doing that, what we create is flexibility in our thinking, so we have less fixed thinking. When you say things like, you either trust what a person’s saying, or you don’t, that is not flexible thinking. That’s binary, it’s black and white.


And I would ask you to say, but it is possible to be uncertain about your trust about what somebody is saying. It is possible to say, I trust this part of it but not this part of it.


It is possible to say I’m not sure if I trust it yet, I need to see what comes in actions.


And I think that our listeners are gonna listen to this and say, “Christopher is right, Kyle is wrong.”

And if they continue-

And they will trust what I have to say.

And if they continue listening, they’ll hear how the same thing you just accuse about the black and white thinking is when you didn’t hear those words you didn’t hear, you thought okay, they didn’t, right? And you’re absolutely right. It comes back to that conversation that we built around trust that says, either you’re gonna engage in conversation, you’re gonna ask for what you need so you can hear what you need, or be very clear with, hey I’m feeling this way right now. I may be feeling that you may not have heard me, right? And again, it still goes into that communication. But this story I want to tell about what we talked about, about the vulnerability.

I mean, we’re still telling a story.

Vulnerability based trust about making it safe for them to actually engage. So this morning, one of our employees sent me a message and I’ll read-

We call them team members.

Literally verbatim.

I like the word team member better than employee.

Team members, okay. I trust that we’re talking about the same people. So the conversation was you know, that came over text, it says, “Good morning Kyle. I will be late by 30 to 40 minutes today, FYI.” So my response, because now think about as a leader, how would you respond to that, right? And we know how certain leaders would respond to it, right?

Well totally, I know totally. And the funny thing is I look at that and I’m like, in our office, what’s late? Like, we, I don’t know what’s been communicated to him because he’s on your team, but we, you know, for the most part, we have a pretty flexible, depending on the role like obviously.


We need our executive assistants sitting at the front desk you know, when clients come in.

Certain times.

Or whatever, right? But you know, certain time periods although there’s still flexibility there but it’s funny, it’s like, what’s late? Like to me, that’s like an opportunity-

Well there’s-

An opportunity for us to further communicate what that means. It’s like well, you know, to be clear, late would be like, no communication. I think what you did is not an admission of lateness, it’s more an inform.


Hey, I’ll be coming in at this time but you’re not late, like.

Yeah, there’s guide, why when I’m about to interrupt you, you raise your voice? Is that your indication of I’m not supposed to interrupt you? Is that what you do?

I just feel like there’s so much I have to say Kyle. And when I look at our podcast listenership I don’t think anybody’s actually listening.

Anyway, so further to that text, I said, my reply was, “No worries, thank you for letting me know” right? And I figured it was ended that, we’ll see the person when they get here. Not a problem, but this is the part where we know that person is where we’re now letting them know they can trust to be honest with us. When we talk about some of that tip because his, the response was-

I just wait, before you give the response, I think that’s exactly it. How you responded to that indicated safety, it’s like no problem. Like, no big deal, right?


How you responded to that you know, if you had said you know, like, okay-

Why are you late? How come you’re late?

Thanks for letting me know.

You’re supposed to be here, yeah.

Yeah, or why are you late? Or even like, um okay? You know, like it’s day two so.


You know, ’cause this is a new team member right?

New employee.

So it’s like, it’s like you know, it’s like okay it’s day two. You know, like, how you responded to that immediately indicates, and I think the good thing that you know, the great thing about your leadership style Kyle is that you have, you are able to put it in perspective, right? So quickly it’s like, you can quickly go to what is the actual impact of this not what’s my emotional impact of this? And so despite the fact that I like to rag on you so much because you do deserve it for being an unemotional monster. This is one of the things, this is one of the things you do extremely well, is that you can put it, you can set your own emotion aside. Not set it aside, I think you filter through it very quickly and you say, here’s my emotional response to it, but here’s the actual impact. So your response to it was so appropriate.

Yeah, I appreciate that. And so, and then the team member went on to say, “Hey no problem.” ‘Cause I said thank you for letting me know, he said, “No problem.” He said you know, so confidently, “I switched off my alarm and I thought I would just sleep for five minutes and then that became an hour.” Right, and so I, again, saw that he trusted to tell me what the reason was. I didn’t ask for it because exactly what we said is hey, no problem, this has happened because there’s no pattern, there’s no trend yet, there’s no, there’s no need for me to read or rate our attendance policy, or this policy or that policy, right? So you know for next time. This is a warning, there’s no need for that, right? So I put it back. And he went to a place of vulnerability based trust where he’s now admitting why.

He literally told you.

He just said hey, this is what happened. I felt confident-

He literally told you. He’s like-

About the alarm and I just turned it off.

I turned my alarm off. And I fell asleep, whoops.

Fell asleep, right? And then mine was-

And it could happen to anybody.

Absolutely, and it does happen. It does happen, it’s not it could, it does happen.

And the question is, is that even a mistake? Like I think it’s like well you made a mistake or that was a micro-failure or whatever.

Sure, sure.

And it’s like is that a mistake or is it just part of being a human being, like that’s not a mistake. It’s a part of being a human being.

Yeah, and even as we think about the reopening you know, of the city and all the stuff that’s happening there’s gonna be some adjustments. Back to your point earlier about checking at the door, it’s not like okay, before you know, COVID we were on time, we did all these things, ’cause there’s gonna be a transition period and I think that’s a whole nother thing that we need to be talking about. But that, there’s going to be a transition period. So my response to that, because I want to show I appreciated the honest, right? And for him to actually step into that and further building trust, these are some tips I’m gonna give you guys in a second, I continued by saying, “No worries, your body and mind needed rest is what it sounds like, welcome back to the work life.” And his response was, the team member response was, “Yeah.” You know what I mean? And so again, and that’s it, there’s no need, and you know, when we see this person and we’re like, “Hey, how are you doing?” Just to check in. So they could also reaffirm because it’s happened via text, they could oh, we could also reaffirm that hey, it was no issue, thank you for letting me know. I appreciate that information. ‘Cause it’s important, right?


For them to see how you received it, right?

And you showed real-

And not treat them differently.

You showed real empathy when you said like, hey, your body and mind needed rest. Like, that’s empathy. And maybe I didn’t, maybe he went to bed like, maybe he had like, 10 hours of sleep and it was just like in that cozy spot and he just kinda dozed off or whatever. Like, the point is, you actually didn’t know but I think the point is that it was an attempt at empathy and I think that what that does it it creates a safe place. Kyle, I know that we have so much more to say on this and so I am looking for part two on this podcast.

We actually should, I really, I really think we should.

We are, actually Kyle, we are, we’re gonna stop it here because I think people have got their microdose for inspired action. So folks, think about where you can take inspired action in your life right now, to create trust through vulnerability. Where could you make a different change? Maybe you need to go have a conversation with someone where you got mad at them and say actually, I was afraid. Maybe you need to go to someone and say hey, I overreacted, or you know, maybe you need to go to somebody and say look, like I’m, I’m struggling right now for the following reasons.

Yeah, and before the next podcast that we talk about this, there’s three things I want to leave you with. You want to-

Actually Kyle, let’s do it in the next one.

Okay. See you soon.

[Narrator] It’s our goal to build a global community of inspired action takers. And we can only do that with your help. So if you love “Inspired Action” please leave a review on your favorite podcasting app and share us on your socials. You’ve heard from us, now we want to hear from you. Go to and tell us what is the inspired action you took this week. Next week on “Inspired Action for Imperfect Humans.”

Hey, like I’m not a perfect human being, what we’re not going for is perfection. What we’re going for is a new relationship with it.

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