Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Trust: The New Knowledge


I have way too many feeds in my reader. Just when I'm about to delete one, though, something really meaningful comes through.

This happened last week with the following quote.
Knowledge Is No Longer Power
Knowledge is and will always be valuable, but Power has moved. It has moved from Knowledge to Trust. In any situation, the person who is most trusted by others is the person with the most power. In Social Networks you are able to build your connections, strengthen your reputation, and expand the number of people who feel comfortable communicating with you. You can begin by simply communicating and exploring, then when appropriate, contribute something you feel they will value. Before long you will be known and trusted. Soon after, you will find people seeking your advice, input and recommendations.

Build Trust Before You Need It
By cultivating these relationships you will be accumulating a relationship “bank account” from which you can make withdrawals (asking for something) later on. At first though, you will need to make plenty of “deposits” by seeking ways to share useful information, offer encouragement, and take an interest in others. Get known and liked in the “neighborhood” by being a good neighbor and friend. --Jim Cathcart


I think this has SO MANY IMPLICATIONS for SO MANY SITUATIONS today.

Evangelism, for example. When we lived in the north of Brazil, people listened to us because (a) we were Americans and (b) we knew stuff--we had read books. We could present the gospel and they would simply listen and believe us. We could tell them how to plant churches and they would assume we were correct.
Now, down here in the south, we're in a post-modern mindset. They are not impressed with our US passports and bizarre accents, actually they laugh at us for talking funny. These folks require a relationship before they will listen to us. They want to know we'll still be here next month. They want to know we care about them as people. Trust.

Discipleship is another example. I have a dear Christian friend who really wants a ministry. But, she views informal time spent with people as wasted. I keep trying to tell her that you can only minister to people whose needs you know, and you can only know their needs by getting to know them.

I think there may be some implications here also for the current misunderstandings we see in the SBC between the Old Guard and the Younger Leaders. One values knowledge (experience), the other trust.

The original context of the above quote was neither of these situations. The author was advocating a strong internet presence for businesses on social networks such as facebook, myspace, twitter, etx. (YES, I KNOW I have Way.Too.Many.feeds in my reader...just hang with me here...)

I found myself wondering how twittering builds trust and then I realized it's really something that these networks feed on -- SELF-DISCLOSURE. While there are elements of exposure, empathy, common interests, the most outstanding feature of these "communities" is self-disclosure. What are the younger leaders screaming for? Transparency, or self-disclosure.

I know the quickest way to gain my trust is to trust me first. When someone chooses to place their trust in me, I recognize them for the excellent discernment they show. When someone chooses to mistrust me, I figure they must really be seriously dishonest to be suspicious of even little ol' me.

Anyway, just a snippet found in a long list of RSS feeds that may be another piece of a puzzle you've been working on.

HT for quote:Ted Demopoulos

1 comment:

m~ said...

WOW! I think you are right on target with the importance of trusting other. If someone tells me something and then proves themselves to non-trustworthy I'll never listen to them again even if they are right.
Your friend should take the time to spend with the people she wants to minister too. They won't ever trust her until she's willing to open up to them.
I wouldn't be in such a hurry to delete everything on you reader.