Alban Weekly | Cultivating trust is a crucial task for leaders

9 months ago

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Cultivating trust is a crucial task for leaders
One of the pleasant surprises about being a church consultant in the late 20th century was that, for many churches, the low trust among congregants exhibited before hiring the consultant transformed into remarkably high trust in the consultant as they shared stories of pain and loss. All the participants, on every side, assumed that the consultant would see the situation their way. This perspective made getting people to talk very easy.
Once people had a chance to tell their stories to a stranger, they began to discover what was really important to them. The consultant's work, then, was figuring out how to get people to listen to each other, across the sides into which they were divided. Congregants could remember a time when they felt listened to; the consultant's work was to recover that kind of relationship.
Today, many people in the United States don't remember a time when they were heard. Some feel that the American economy and society have left them far behind. Others have been silenced for generations, their stories missing from history books and media coverage. As a result, many increasingly believe that they can be understood only by people like themselves. People not like themselves are dangerous. For protection, some people hide, while others lash out.
In this moment, engendering trust -- in one's leadership and within one's community -- is among the leader's most important and difficult acts.
Read more from David Odom » 
Albert Reyes worked in a Sprint call center, then moved up the ladder at the telecommunications company. Since then, as president of Baptist University of the Américas and now at Buckner International, he's applied what he learned. Leadership, management, budgeting -- none of these were taught in seminary, but all have come in handy in ministry, he tells co-host Bill Lamar. He talks about following the mission of Buckner's founder, learning to lead, and why he doesn't have a leadership style of his own. He also reflects on his own spiritual practices -- even for those weeks when he's not in church.
Read or listen to this podcast »
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Maintaining trust in a relationship is like walking a tightrope
Given the nature of human beings and institutions, at some point relationships become unsteady. And repairing trust can be a challenge for leaders, writes the managing director of Alban.
Read more from Nathan Kirkpatrick »
Building and restoring trust
By studying college basketball teams, a Washington University business researcher examines the importance of one aspect of leadership: trust.
Read more from Kurt T. Dirks »
Communication in the Church: A Handbook for Healthier Relationships
by Thomas G. Kirkpatrick
Communication is integral to the mission of the church, but it can go awry in myriad ways, both obvious and subtle. Communication in the Church helps congregations create healthier ways for their members to relate to one another for greater personal and congregational success. The book offers practical guidelines to help readers become more effective in how they build relationships, lead meetings, experience trust, practice forgiveness, use power, and bridge cultures. 
Communication in the Church distills the latest social science research for readers including clergy, lay leaders, continuing education planners, students, scholars, and others. Each chapter includes real-life scenarios, sensible guidelines, practical applications, and suggestions for further learning. This book aims to help readers communicate more effectively-from leading more engaging and productive meetings to preventing or addressing communication breakdowns.
Learn more and order the book »
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