“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.” —Isaac Watts
A vital foundation to earning others’ trust is exhibiting trust-producing behaviors. The greater a leader demonstrates trust in others, the greater others will place trust in the leader. Creating an environment of trust is critical to true leadership. We must aim to be trustworthy.
We must be willing to risk trusting other people, to be vulnerable to having our trust in them betrayed, and yet willing to take that chance. We cannot earn trust without giving trust.
Here are the trust relationships we all need to build.
1. Trust between you and God.
All trust begins between you and God. When you came to Jesus, you trusted that He could give you eternal security. Trust involves heartfelt confidence in God, leaning on God, resting and trusting in Him. Our experience of placing our trust in God should increase our capacity to trust, and should encourage us to build trust within our relationships.
2. Trust between leader and leaders.
Trust between leaders is built on the values leaders adhere to and the relationships that are built because of trust. It is the glue that holds relationships together. When trust is violated, relationships break down. A united team is built on trust. This trust is built over time, over shared life experiences. A leader must work with the team and build trust among them.
3. Trust between leaders and followers.
Followers trust leaders because they believe they will not be taken advantage of or betrayed by the leader. They believe they will not be abused because of their trust in the leader. Prove yourself trustworthy by looking out for their best, not your own. Seek to do what is best for people, not what builds your own ministry.
Trust goes both ways. You must trust the church if you expect them to trust you. Believe the best of them and give them the benefit of the doubt instead of questioning their motives. Believe in them and their dreams and encourage them. A trustworthy leader can never allow an “us versus them” mentality to arise between themselves and the people they lead. Instead, there must be mutual trust and respect.