"Trust is the glue of life. It's the essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships."

- Stephen R. Covey, Author

When building a Church Safety Ministry (www.churchsafetyministry.com), we understand that trust ensures we achieve genuine commitment, accountability, and congregational safety. If we don't trust our team members with our "six," how could we trust them to protect others?

When we trust people we can:

• Accomplish and do better work through constructive feedback from our teammates.

• Grow and learn more about our roles and responsibilities and become more confident in executing them.

• Become better teachers and mentors because trust allows us to focus our attention on others.

• Worry less about protecting ourselves and our interests.

• Be more empathetic and authentic when it comes to building our interpersonal relationships.

• Have meaningful relationships with people because trust removes politics and the "infamous silos" from our workplaces.

Trust creates a safe workplace where we can say "I don't know the answer to that question", or "That oversight was my fault", or "I need help." Trust allows us to learn lessons in a guilt and recrimination free environment.

Genuine trust between one another means there will be no retaliation, recrimination or negative consequences from making mistakes. Trust allows us to create an agile, resilient, efficient, and productive team.

There are two types of trust "common or predictive" and "vulnerability-based" trust.

"Common or predictive" trust is the confidence and belief that your team member will abide by generally accepted laws, regulations or policies. It's the trust you extend to others that they won't steal the keys to the church front door. It's the type of trust we extend to each other when driving. We "trust" people to know the rules of the road, and that they will stay on the right side, and stop at all red lights. Without "common" trust, it would be challenging to operate as a society.

Vulnerability-based trust is a much deeper confidence that allows us to be vulnerable and open with teammates. It is the belief that you can take calculated risks, ask for help, admit mistakes, or confront and hold others accountable without fear of retaliation, humiliation, or resentment. We must give and earn vulnerability-based trust.

High-performing teams are vulnerability-based. "Common" trust alone won't lead to a model of excellence Church Safety Ministry.

Leaders model behaviors they expect from their team. They have to be the first to "open up" and extend trust to others. As Ken Blanchard, the author says, "When you open up and share yourself, you demonstrate an openness that creates trust."

Stephen Covey says, "We must first seek to understand, and then to be understood." This encourages us to listen with the intent to understand rather than with the intent to reply.

To achieve vulnerability-based trust, we must treat our teammates like we want to be treated, give them a sense of belonging and a shared purpose, give them some independence, and show them we genuinely care for them. Teammates must feel cared for and safe.

Leaders should talk straight, right wrongs, keep commitments, praise teammates in public, and correct their behaviors constructively in private. These behaviors help build and strengthen team trust.

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