Build Trust

(Note: This is the first article in a series on the topic Building Trust to Stop Conflict Before It Starts.)

People are slower to trust authority figures than in past generations. We trust the government, politicians, educators, the media, and yes, even pastors less now than in the past.

Yet, trust lays the foundation for strong and productive relationships.

The magazine Fast Company reports that mistrust hinders work, innovation, and involvement in business settings; whereas higher trust in these work cultures were correlated with greater profit margins.[1]  

If that is true in business, how much more do we need trust in the work of the church?

Mistrust creates fertile soil for misunderstanding of motivation and intent: the seeds of unproductive conflict.

How do you more effectively build trust with those under your care? There are at least five steps you can take to improve your trust building:

  1. Communicate warmth and openness. 
  2. Be genuine.
  3. Demonstrate competence.
  4. Share power.
  5. Take responsibility.

 I certainly am not saying that a Christian leader can prevent all conflicts. In fact, all conflicts should not be prevented.

However, we are called upon to live in peace with everyone to the extent that it depends upon us!

You can prevent some time-wasting energy draining conflicts by making certain you are intentionally and consciously employing the five trust building tactics above.

Stay tuned, next week I will give six very specific behaviors that will help you achieve step one, Communicating Warmth and Openness.

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[1] http://www.fastcompany.com/3000204/how-leaders-build-trust, retrieved 2/12/2016