by Robin Fuller
Trust on a team is critical, especially inside of a pregnancy center. If wondering whether or not you have a culture of trust, it may look something like this:
Trust on the team abounds. Each person is clear about their own job and doesn’t do the job of another team member. I trust you to do your job and you trust me to do mine. There’s no worrying about whether or not things are getting done because there is good reporting. No one is wondering if there is talk going on behind the scenes or behind one another’s backs, because we trust each other to speak honestly and clearly, and to handle conflict and confrontation early. Humility abounds, and staff is invited to speak freely. There may be intense conversations within a meeting, but everyone has the chance to be heard. Once a decision is made everyone gets behind the decision and there is no grumbling or complaining afterward. Conflict, when there is trust, is simply people trying to discover the truth so the best possible solution can be found.
Building trust starts with the leader. Here are some basic building blocks for creating a Culture of Trust:
- Get honest with yourself before God. Be intentional about allowing God to change you – from the inside out. Are you a trustworthy leader? Are you grumbling and complaining? Are you truly confidential? Do you find yourself talking about team members behind their backs?
- CONFESS and REPENT as God convicts where you haven’t been trustworthy. Are you gossiping? Fearful? Doubting?
- Build a leadership team and make yourself vulnerable. This might consist of your program leaders – no more than 5 or so. For a smaller organization maybe it’s only 3. Become a bit more vulnerable with them. Show a few more weaknesses and begin sowing a culture of trust with them. Listen to their concerns. Pray together. Gather ideas. Invite them to point out ways you are wrong – and clothe yourself with humility. Don’t get defensive when they do.
- Start talking about trust. Consider a survey to the entire organization and ask for their thoughts on trust. Start talking about your desire to build a Culture of Trust. Define it. Talk about it in meetings. Ask questions, then listen. “Do you think we have trust inside these walls? What do you think we could do to build trust?” Ask one-on-one, “Do you trust me?” Begin to weed out the truth and prepare for change.
- Clarify all job descriptions – then begin trusting your staff to do their jobs. Don’t micromanage, allowing them to try and fail – which isn’t easy. Don’t “Lord it over them” or take things back simply because you could do it faster and easier.
If you’d like to build a culture of trust on your team, these are some ways to begin.
Robin Fuller, as a professional coach, walks alongside ministry leaders and helps them finish well. Her 23-year experience as a pregnancy center director, combined with her personal story and passion for the unborn, make her the perfect fit for any pregnancy center leader wanting to improve their leadership skills and plan for a great finish. robinfuller.coach