I was thinking about trust the other day when talking about values with someone interested in moving to Portland and joining our staff. We agreed that values are linked to trust.

When my family was ready to move from Ithaca to Madison my husband Martin flew out first to look for a job and buy our house. Some of my pals were astonished that I would trust him to buy a home without a sneak peek from me.

It’s a good example of the interweaving of trust and values, because he found a cute 3-bedroom house with an office for me and back yard for the kids in a swell neighborhood near good schools and the bus line. I trusted him.

So when I face ripples at work or disagreements with friends it’s often a fissure in values. At work folks are often split over decisions because we don’t agree on values. Some folks prioritize student needs while others front their career needs. Some are community-minded and others are individually oriented.

But it’s not so much the difference in values that rocks the boat. It’s more an issue of trust. When co-workers sense the rift in values they don’t trust each other. And it’s the lack of trust that can make work-life hellish.

That’s why I’m looking forward to the respite from work, and am thankful for the holidays, where family and friends nurture one another. We share values. And we trust each other.


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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1 Response to Trust

  1. I’ve been following your blog since you started. You have made amazing progress. This site is an inspiration for all pursuing a long transition versus the big chop.

    – Rob


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