Building a Trust-based Relationship

interpersonal relations

Building a trust-based relationship requires a fundamental understanding that "relationship" is the foundation from which all activities happen and that building a good relationship takes time and commitment. It is a willingness to build a personal relationship in addition to a professional one, participating in open exchanges of experiences and culture. It requires a genuine, non-controlling approach and relies upon demonstrated integrity and transparency. Building a trust-based relationship requires a high level of consciousness of the experience of Indigenous people with Crown relations. It assumes that strengths abound in Indigenous people, cultures and communities.

Demonstrates the Behaviour When

  • Goes without agenda to the person, community or organization to listen and understand their experience
  • Willing to adjust behaviour or approach in the interest of building a relationship
  • Makes a conscious effort to establish and build rapport, including discussion about weather, current events, family, etc.
  • Identifies and refers to areas of mutual interest as a means of establishing a relationship
  • Demonstrates valuing Indigenous and Western knowledge equally
  • Learns from interactions and makes adjustments
  • Shares information honestly and openly
  • Schedules an appropriate amount of time for both business and relationship building when meeting with Indigenous people
  • Draws on key expressions and words from the traditional language to build trust and show respect
  • Nurtures the relationship over time
  • Meets regularly and informally with objective of relationship building
  • Involved in Indigenous community and/or cultural activities
  • Maintains regular contact to nurture long-term relationships
  • Incorporates relationship deliverables into work plans, project plans and strategic plans
  • Initiates opportunities to improve the longer-term working relationship, such as introducing Indigenous people to trusted others who can provide useful information or services
  • Nurtures the relationship despite differences in opinion or other conflicting situations

Needs Development When

  • Engages in transactions to the exclusion of relationship building
  • Resists the concept of relationship as a deliverable
  • Incorporates only task related deliverables into plans
  • Declines invitations to gatherings, ceremonies or meetings
  • Feels a need to check in on Indigenous people to make sure they are "doing it right"
  • Overlooks or discounts opinions and ideas of Indigenous people
  • Dominates conversations or does not allow for silence
  • Considers the relationship as a failure if differences arise
  • Sticks to the agenda, when a deviation would serve and strengthen the relationship
  • Withholds information
  • Does not communicate regularly and openly
  • Focuses on short-term results without considering long-term impact upon the relationship
  • Focuses only on government interests and needs and refuses to discuss anything outside of those parameters
  • Withholds information that may be useful or that may cause discord
  • Reluctant to participate in Indigenous community and/or cultural activities
  • Indigenous people avoid working with the employee or indicate dissatisfaction
  • Ends the relationship when the work is done