Stephen Covey: Families are Trust Organizations, too!

We’re back with family organizations and the speed of trust! Everything I’ve talked about up to this point, in this chapter, applies just as powerfully to the family as it does to any other organization.

Families have greater trust when they are aligned, when they have structures and systems that recognize values and reward high-trust behavior, when they have symbols that communicate the paradigms that create high-trust relationships.

Stephen Covey

Food for thought…

The rewards system: When he wins a game, you have a huge celebration and take him out to dinner. When he brings home an A, you merely say, “Good job!”

The communication system: Every week you ask him excitedly, “when’s the next game?” You talk about his grades only once a quarter when report cards come out.

The decision-making system: Everything you do as a family is based on the next game, the next event. Grades are never a part of the decision.

The structure: Your son makes his own decisions relative to when he goes to bed, how much television he watches, and how much time he spends with his friends — regardless of his grades.

I thought this was super interesting. Although I’m not for grades or anything that pertains to academics, given the fact that everything can now be searched on google, but the fact that we put more focus on particular things then we do others. When a child, and as this particular child grows up, he ends up noticing that sports is more important than anything else, including family? Perhaps!

  • Does our family have Integrity? Are the values clear, and do rules and guidelines (structures and systems), and the behavior of the parents support those values? Is there an environment of honesty and humility? Do family members have the courage to express their ideas and opinions freely, and do they do so with respect?
  • Does our family have good intent? Have we structures a culture of respect and caring? Is the agenda mutual benefit, or is it just the adults, or children, who win? Do our systems reward cooperation?
  • What are our family’s capabilities? Does the structure provide for and encourage development and growth? Is it safe to learn by making mistakes? Are systems in place to help children develop the life skills they will need to succeed as adults?
  • What Results does our family produce? Are systems in place to create joy in shared accomplishment? Is there an abundance of rich interaction, support, and love? Are family members achieving important goals, both individually and as a family?


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