Unconditional Trust

by Captain Kurt Scott

When it comes to building resilience, the idea of Trust doesn’t usually come to mind. We don’t always appreciate its value because we often take it for granted.
In his “Kicking Off 2013” blog post, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert talks about how incredibly important trust is to life in the Navy. Whether it’s the trust pilots have in their crew chiefs for the condition of their aircraft or confidence submariners have in their shipmates when rigging for a dive – unconditional trust in each other – from damage control to normal operations – is the key for a successful Navy. We can’t do it alone.

Trust is more than just having confidence in yourself and your co-workers abilities; it’s about knowing your shipmates and leaders have your best interest at heart. Trust is built through experience and includes certain expectations (for example, that the parachute will open, the equipment will function, medical services will be there in times of need, family will be supportive, etc.). Trust plays a critical role in withstanding adversity and extends beyond individual relationships. Trust provides a positive expectation from the organization and systems in which we operate and includes integrity, dependability, and competence on the part of leaders and larger organizations.

Trust is also a key to increasing our psychological health. If a shipmate trusts you, it increases his or her willingness to confide in you or to reach out to you. Let them know you care and they will trust you to help them recognize and address stress reactions before they become stress injuries.
Trust, one of the Principles of Resilience and Stress Control (click here to get the pdf)

Captain Kurt Scott is the director of the Navy’s Behavioral Health Programs, Millington, Tenn.

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