A-Frame of Trust Revisited

I’ve had a bit of a rethink of the structure of the A-Frame of Trust. This arose on reflection from a comment that I had made to a post by Jack Vinson on this subject.

I now think that the structure of the A-Frame would be better served by having adventure and authenticity as the two supports, with agreement and accountability balancing each other and actually touching each other at the apex of the house.  This makes more sense to me as the supports are the cultural intersubjective elements with the social structures (agreement and accountability) sitting on top of these base elements.

The revised diagram then looks like this. 


3 Responses to A-Frame of Trust Revisited

  1. David Montgomery says:

    Luke you have cleverly summarised a diverse range of views and encapsulated these in your 5 A frame to which, as I mentioned on Jack Vinson’s blog, I would like to suggest a sixth: acceptance. When you trust another person you accept their judgment, point of view, or advice since you know it to be reliable or in your best interest.

    Giving this still more thought, I would prefer to see the frame as a dynamic rather than static structure since the reciprocity which trust demands can never be static but always strives to exist in some form of dynamic equilibrium. Moreover, I think it is important to acknowledge the challenges of maintaining trust since it always benefits from regular feedback even if the basis of understanding is long established.


  2. Thanks for that David

    I agree with your view and am happy to trust your opinion and accept acceptance as a sixth item in the A-frame. More seriously, acceptance ties in to the notion of reputational trust whereby I will accept someone’s point of view even though I may not have entered into an agreement with them. Expert opinion such as from a medical practitioner would fit this bill. I’d probably locate it as another floor above apology and linking acceptance and accountability.
    Unfortunately, I can’t work out how to convert an A-Frame house into something that has a dynamic structure. Rather than equilibrium, I would prefer something that develops or abates. I’ll sleep on that and see if anything springs to mind.

  3. David Montgomery says:

    Dynamic biofeedback mechanisms are the basis for human physiology. Science in its attempts to understand physiological processes devises structures/decision trees/diagrammatic representations to help explain to those inquiring about what is occurring. It has always struck me as odd that people talk about work/life balance when what we’re really talking about is homeostasis i.e. all systems in a state of dynamic interaction or better still dynamic equilibrium.

    You mention the patient/doctor implicit trust relationship but then the whole area of expert opinion opens up a whole new can of worms since this the school of thought within Knowledge Management that advocates the existence of type 1 and type 2 — and probably by now many more types. What is an expert? Cynics would argue x = the unknown quantity; spurt = a drip under pressure. Knowledge experts have let us down e.g. BSE. It is far more difficult to decide what is in what is not expert opinion today since so much information is available to validate, or arguably invalidate, what we perceive to be a relevant opinion.

    Your A frame has started a truly useful discussion and one I hope others will contribute to. Nevertheless, trust is dynamic until the moment its fragility is shattered.


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