Trust and the Co-Creation of Learning

On occasion profound gratitude comes to me and it has impact.  I walked into a room to do a workshop.  One man went out of his way to greet me.  He told me that he wanted to thank me.  I asked why.  He said that some years ago he had a drug problem.  He had hit bottom and he knew he had to change or something terrible would happen.  Yet he could not actually make the decision and execute the change.  Then, for one of his classes, he was required to read Deep Change.  In reading the book he found the will and the courage to change.  I was moved with gratitude that he would share this with me.

He then he said that during the morning session he did something he never did before.  He had been leading the group, and in preparing the participants for my session in the afternoon, he told the story of his addiction, of his reading my book, and of his recovery.  As he recounted his act of sharing he was radiant.

Now here is the interesting thing.  The workshop was an experience in profound learning.  From the moment I started the people were completely open.  I was completely present.  Because of this man’s gratitude and authenticity, both the group and I were able to interact in high trust and together we co-created deep learning.



  • What is authenticity and how does it change things?
  • Why did the authenticity have so much impact in this case?
  • How much authenticity and vulnerability is expressed in your work unit?
  • How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?

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