Building Trust Works: Why Inner Work for Social Impact

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Building Trust Works

Why Inner Work for Social Impact

Synergos 30th Anniversary Paper • Peggy Dulany • December 2017


A fully engaged life

Reflections on inner work are needed to effectively do work in the world.

Since the 25th Anniversary paper, Approaching the Heart of the Matter, written in 2012 for the Synergos family and beyond, Peggy Dulany and Synergos as an organization have been thinking more about how the inner work (or personal transformation for social impact) component of our approach relates to the other three: 

  • Enabling systemic thinking about seemingly intransigent problems
  • Building capacity for “bridging leadership”
  • Supporting the creation and growing to scale of inclusive partnerships addressing problems relating to poverty.

Becoming our most effective selves empowers us to trust daringly and collaborate deeply to create lasting change.

The connection, put simply, is this: as individuals, understanding our own obstacles to becoming our most effective selves, leads to the ability to be open to trusting others who are different from ourselves; building trust within groups that need to work together to solve complex problems increases the capacity to collaborate; and finally, collaboration around complex problems is critical to reaching sustainable and scalable solutions.

Approaching a fully engaged life

How can our work to enable people to sort through inner obstacles and fears by creating a “safe container” foster the necessary conditions for bridging leadership and inclusive partnerships to more effectively address problems in the world? This paper attempts to connect these dots by walking the reader through the stages of personal transformation that culminate in a fully engaged life, illustrated in the spiral graphic at right.