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Understanding Brené Brown's Elements of Trust

Trust is the glue that holds relationships together, whether they're personal or professional. Brené Brown, a renowned researcher and storyteller, has delved deep into the anatomy of trust, providing us with a framework to understand and cultivate it. In her work, she has distilled the essence of trust into seven key elements, encapsulated in the acronym BRAVING.


The BRAVING Model

BRAVING stands for Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-judgment, and Generosity. Each component represents a fundamental aspect of trust that, when practised, can strengthen and repair our connections with others.


Boundaries

Boundaries are the clear lines we draw around what is acceptable and what isn't. They are essential for healthy relationships because they establish respect and understanding between individuals. When we are clear about our boundaries and respect those of others, we create a safe space for trust to grow.


Reliability

Reliability means being dependable and following through on our commitments. It's about consistency in our actions and ensuring that we don't overpromise and underdeliver. When we are reliable, others can count on us, which is a cornerstone of trust.


Accountability

Accountability is about owning our mistakes, apologizing, and making amends. It's a demonstration of our willingness to be honest and correct our wrongs. This aspect of trust shows that we take responsibility for our actions and their impact on others.


Vault

The Vault refers to our ability to keep confidence and protect the privacy of the information shared with us. It's about ensuring that what is shared in confidence stays in confidence. When we honour the Vault, we prove ourselves to be trustworthy custodians of others' stories.


Integrity

Integrity is about choosing courage over comfort and doing what is right, even when it's not easy. It involves living by our values and principles. Integrity builds trust by showing others that we are consistent and true to our word.


Non-judgment

Non-judgment is the ability to communicate and ask for what we need without fear of being judged, and to offer the same in return. It creates a supportive environment where vulnerability is respected and valued.


Generosity

Generosity in the context of trust means extending the most generous interpretation to the intentions, words, and actions of others. It's about giving people the benefit of the doubt and checking in with them before jumping to conclusions.


Trusting Ourselves and Others

Trust is not just about our relationships with others; it's also about how we view ourselves. By understanding and practising the elements of BRAVING, we can start to trust ourselves more, which in turn makes it easier to trust others. Trusting is a vulnerable and courageous process, but it's also the foundation of connection and growth.





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