Guest Column: Trustworthiness by Annie Clark, Whitworth Graduate Student

The PACE trait fAnnie Clarkor the month of April is Trustworthiness. Trustworthiness is inspiring complete reliability and confidence in a person’s truthfulness, integrity, and discretion. To be a trustworthy person is to be someone that others can rely on and confide in. Trustworthiness is the foundation for a healthy relationship. Any relationship, whether that be family members, friends, teachers and their students, teammates, coaches, or coworkers, will be a positive, successful relationship if built on trust first.

As an athlete my whole life, I was able to learn about trustworthiness and what it looks like to be a trustworthy person and teammate. As a former member of the soccer team at Whitworth University, I remember our coach starting each season with a conversation about trust. He would ask us “What does it look like to be a trustworthy teammate?” Once we would come up with words and ideas for this question he would ask, “How can you live into being a trustworthy teammate each practice, game, and team function?” Playing the game of soccer requires a lot of trust within your teammates. Similar to a relationship, trust is essential for a healthy and successful team. It is quite evident when watching a game if each team trusts each other or not based on the way they play together and encourage one another despite a mistake.

So, what does it look like to be a trustworthy teammate? I have found that the qualities of a trustworthy teammate and a trustworthy person are pretty similar. These qualities are ones that my teammates and I at Whitworth always seemed to find most important in a teammate. A trustworthy teammate is someone who is reliable. He or she works hard for their teammates and stays focused on the goal of the team. This teammate is also honest. He or she holds their teammates accountable in an honest yet positive and motivating way. Lastly, a trustworthy teammate is dedicated. This person is constantly putting the team’s needs above their own and what is best for the team first.

As a team we discussed that living into being a trustworthy teammate each day requires selflessness, sacrifice, and caring for the needs and betterment of your team. This can be so challenging at times. But, what a gift it is to challenge yourself in this way to be better for those on your team and for those you serve.

With the change of a few words, the qualities of trustworthiness that are important for a soccer team can be translated and applied to any relationship, family, classroom, or career field. Another big part of Whitworth Women’s Soccer is to reflect on who you are and how you can challenge yourself to grow each day. So in honor of that, during the month of April I encourage you to challenge yourself by reflecting on what it looks like to be a trustworthy person within the different roles you play in your life. How can you live into being that trustworthy person each and every day?

Annie Clark is a graduate student in Whitworth’s master’s degree in Social Emotional Learning program. Whitworth University has been a supporter of PACE since its inception and School of Education faculty have served on the PACE Executive Board yearly. Social, emotional and character development has always been a critical element in the university’s preparation of teachers who are committed to educating the whole child.