Tag Archives: trust

Being a trustworthy person and a trustworthy non-profit.

I was listening to MN Public radio and caught a quick statement about trust.  One of the guest speakers said that trust depended on two things, if the agency or the person was 1.)well-intended and 2.)competent about the matter at hand.

I thought about this on a few levels, neither on was my relationships to the US Government (the topic of the radio show).  Because I often hear about “trust” in Circle.  People often use that on the relationship-value plate we create for our Circle center.  It’s often mentioned as a “must have” to having a relationship.

I’ve also seen that our customers respond differently based on levels of trust.  People participating in Restorative Justice, seem to get more when they understand that the intention behind the process is one of help or healing.  It seems our process can go further and deeper when people see Restorative Justice as competent.  Some vicitms are able to step outside of the victim role, and see that perhaps the intentions of the offender were not of malice but more of an error in judgement, a mistake.  Mistakes have consequences, mistakes don’t mean you are free from being accountable to your behavior.  The majority of offenders do take a well-intented approach to repairing the harm.  They may not always be comptent in empathy or understanding, but that is where the restorative justice process helps. 

The majority of victims are also well-intented in the restorative justice process.  I have dealt with a few that wanted to use the process for shaming or punishing.  Sometimes people harmed can forget to look at the greater context of the human family, as they are focused on their specific wound.  Even in extreme circumstances some victims can trust.

An example, the RJOB, featured a story about two sisters coping with the murder of their sibling.  The surviving sisters lived out what they saw as their sisters final wishes.  Their sister Nancy, in her last moments alive took her own blood and drew a “Heart” and a “U”.  Nancy was murdered, shot by a 16 year-old.  This prompted the sisters to advocate against the death penalty and promote life sentances without parole for juveniles (full article).  The sisters trusted Nancy.

A new volunteer recently shared that where ever he talks about his volunteer work at SCVRJP, people confirm what a good program that is.  He shared this in Circle recently as he was helping help some juveniles.  Making the point that there might be something they could take away from the Circle.  Our volunteer was delivering that SCVRJP is well-intended and competent.

I work hard at the reputation at our non-profit and I am aware that building relationships takes that.  I so appreciate the two pieces I learned today, that being well-intended and competent (or at very least being percieved as such) are cornerstones to trust.

I am sure those around me will appreciate me assuming they are well-intented, and well as making sure I behave out of good intentions.  Never underestimate the power of maintaining and building trust, as a person or a non-profit.

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Filed under Community, Conferencing, offenders, Practitioner Skills, Victims

I feel more accountable when I am trusted, how Restorative Justice builds trust.

At a recent staff meeting, I asked everyone for blogging permission.  Which was actually kind of a funny question, I’ve never been asked that.  The girls had a few questions, asked for examples.  I usually ask for permission on specific statements, or experiences.  I was asking them for ‘carte blanche’ permission.  We discussed the important part of the blog, is the lesson it contains, and by not being descriptive of the players, keeping that in the background and the lesson in the foreground, was my approach.  I did point out that a blog that said ‘coworker’ could mean the three of them.

We continued our discussion with a few examples.  I offered them read it first rights, like I used to do with an old boyfriend.  Who once had me change ‘alcohol’ to ‘beer’.  The staff declined the need to read things first, and put their trust in me.  I said if I felt like I might step on toes, I would run it by them.  I was trusted.  I was really, really trusted to use our office interactions where they could promote lessons and learnings about restorative justice.  I felt proud, honored, connected, respected and that made me feel even more accountable to do what I said.  I thought of this later, and I realized how that kind of trust comes so easily in Restorative Justice sessions.

Juvenile cases, with parents attending, or adult cases, volunteers/community members in the room, really seem to put faith in those that are required to attend, the x-offenders.  The trust of strangers seems to mean a lot to the participants.  Parents seem to be cross-contaminated, with hope for their child.

Our restorative justice sessions also seem to use gratitude.  I love theWoodbury  Bikram Yoga studio model:

You are always safe in gratitude.

I’ve been using that in conversations lately, and using it on myself.  Safety feels good, it feels like belonging.  I am in gratitude for my coworkers trust.  I am also really impressed with this feeling of being trusted, and as it will help me be better, wiser, more aware and appreciative of the gift of trust, I hope others that are trusted, specifically those that come through our restorative justice program, that they feel this trust.

Restorative justice work has put me in front of a few “empathy-impaired” individuals (none my coworkers!).  Childhood issues, like neglect and being exposed to trauma cause some empathy impairement.  These people are the bite before bit types.  The mantra of the empathy impaired: If I am stolen from it means I get to steal.  I myself was faced with this recently, someone took the parking spot I had been waiting for.  As I was angry, off my center, I thought how I would just go burn the next person.  Now I caught myself, and I remembered who I want to be.  Empathy-impaired people can’t easily get back to that center.  I believe restorative justice can help, as people show those centers of empathy to others.  Being empathetic takes a little trust. 

As we trust and support people that have done harm, we help them.  We trust them because they need to feel a belonging and a connection to not hurt other people.  Coworkers trusting a boss that blogs, made me feel connected. 

Is there somewhere you could extend trust?  Is there someone trusting you, that you could be safe in that gratitude?

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Filed under Belonging, Blogging, Conferencing, non-profit management, Practitioner Skills, Relationships, Restorative Justice