I took Mala and her cousin to the movies on the weekend to watch the new Disney film, Raya and The Last Dragon, and found myself moved to tears by the story’s message: We can solve the world’s problems if we trust each other and get along. This is the ultimate superpower of the story’s heroes. Not some magic sword or super-human fighting moves, but the ability to face the fear and put resentment aside to come together for the common good. In other words – moving above the line.
Like most powerful messages, the potency is in the apparent simplicity. Yet when we peel it back, there are many layers to explore, particularly when we look at what stops us from trusting each other. And what it takes to build it back up again. Especially in the workplace.
I reckon there are two sides to trust that are proportionally related. The extent you trust others is directly proportional to how much you trust yourself. Self-trust is a function of your ego or identity, or insecurities. When someone breaks our trust, we feel hurt because we make it about us and then find it harder to trust again (i.e. go and stay below the line). The truth is, it has nothing to do with us.
When we break someone else’s trust, we’re out of integrity. We’ve broken an agreement that was either explicitly or implicitly set, and in the process we break the energy flow in our relationships and team dynamic. Teams depend on that energy flow to survive and thrive. Getting back into integrity is a powerful shift to get the team back above the line.
Admitting we’ve been out of integrity can be hard for people who struggle being wrong. That’s why first we need to acknowledge and lean into the fear. It can also help to acknowledge any stories you’re making up, before having a candid conversation acknowledging you’ve been out of integrity and recommitting.
If we could all do that most of the time, we might not solve the world’s problems but geez we’d solve some of our team’s challenges.