Bridging the knowing-doing-being gap

A discussion on how to create ‘trust’ at work went something like this:

“We had a great workshop on ‘trust’  but we need to learn more about it”

“Yes, it was a great session. Lots of good feedback. But you’re right, we need to put on an advanced workshop”.


“People seem to be learning lots but I think we need more training because there’s still a lack of trust in the organisation”.

“Do we know any experts we can get to run such an advanced workshop?”

This conversation haunted me for sometime but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. the scream

Here’s my reflection a couple of months later. Learning can simply be head knowledge. Praxis (change in behaviour) however, only happens when that knowledge becomes part of who we are.

This begs the question… how do we can get from learning to praxis?

Perhaps what organisations need is less training on how to develop ‘trust’ and more practical sessions on how we can “do” trust.

A friend of mine suggested how we could do this. Get people to keep a journal – with a view to writing down episodes where trust had broken down. We could then get this group of people together  to share the content of the journals. This conversation should be facilitated, ideally by a trained (family) therapist. The purpose of this exercise is:

  • to have real, authentic conversations about these difficult episodes;
  • to acknowledge the hurt/s experienced;
  • to notice the effect on morale and culture when trust breaks down; and,
  • to try and mend the broken relationships, which in turn should promote trust.

Wouldn’t it be great if we can pull this off? It would take a tremendous amount of courage and skill though.

One thought on “Bridging the knowing-doing-being gap

  1. This applies in a number of situations. Are there two similar scenarios? One is the heavy emphasis on theory, or theology, with a lack of practical application. The other is the challenge to implement learning; and for this you make a good suggtion. But in both cases there needs to be a means of encouraging and supporting action. Journals! I have also seen a tendency to run endless training courses on similar topics or approaches to mission but nothing comes of them. The huge choice enables people to opt out of selecting an approach and implementing it – and in any case there is not time because another course is being offered. Are there too many facilitators and too few enablers?

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