I was sitting in a training today for one of the side gigs I pursue (more on that later,) & one of the facilitators made a comment about trust & communication. She said, “In a group where there is a ‘culture of mistrust,’ EVERYTHING can be weaponized. It can be a church, it can be an office, it can be a manufacturing plant, it can be a professional sports team… if people don’t trust each other, comments, suggestions, & other types of input made with the best of intentions can be refashioned into weapons of war to be turned back on the persons who offered them up.”
At that point I kind of drifted into contemplation mode; it got me thinking about how many different scenarios I’ve seen that very principle played out. I started wondering about what it takes to BUILD trust… both among individuals & within organizations. It can be difficult, because usually it takes someone (or a couple someones) going first, going on on the proverbial limb to risk, to try, to reach out with (appropriate) vulnerability over an extended period of time – risking rejection, misunderstanding, & conflict, among other things.
Its definitely oversimplifying an answer to the “what’s it take to build trust?” question – but I think its worth mentioning that if I want people to trust me, I need to be trustWORTHY. To be able to have a resume (track record, life pattern, etc) that shows trustability, faithfulness, commitment to a common good, humility, teachability, & a willingness to go first in asking for forgiveness & in extending grace to others.
It’s especially true when someone (let’s pretend its you or me) is not known well by others… it requires a lot of patience to begin to move forward in a manner that will plant seeds of trust, couple with congruent behaviors that reinforce it. To me, there’s a lot of wisdom found in the Psalms & Proverbs that helps to govern & guide our lives, that helps us to be becoming trustworthy people, regardless of what is going on in the lives/workplaces/teams/groups around us. And the vast majority of the wisdom that’s found there centers on looking to God as the example of what trust looks like, lived out.
Its much easier to focus on the untrustworthiness of others, to revisit their (real/perceived) shortcomings, & to blame them for any/all problems with trust that arise. But its not helpful. I can’t control or direct others; I CAN make good choices. I CAN respond with kindness & patience with others. I CAN live a life that is faithful & dependable & trustWORTHY, regardless of the messed up situations we will encounter in our lives.
The side gig info: I’m a “Certified Assessor” for the Working Genius productivity assessment, created by Patrick Lencioni & the At The Table. It’s a great tool that helps people identify their “Geniuses” (areas they thrive/gravitate towards in a project) & their “Frustrations” (areas that suck the life out of them when they’re doing them working on a project.) Check out the Working Genius podcast HERE to get a better idea of what I’m talking about. Over the last year that I’ve been using the assessment, I’ve found it to be an incredible tool not only for being more intentional & aware of how you tackle work, but also how you navigate your significant relationships (friendships, teams, marriage, people you volunteer with, etc.)
Ultimately – its 80% about productivity & 20% personality… It doesn’t tell you WHAT job you should or shouldn’t be doing, but it can give you an EXCELLENT idea on HOW you will attack that job to get stuff done.
Take a look & see for yourself… For what its worth. Any questions about it? Hit me up :)
Happy Friday friends.