Today I want to share with all support pastors, staff and church volunteers one of the secrets that has built trust between me and my pastor over the years: Be easy to talk to about hard things.
Inevitably in church life, confrontation and discipline are necessary. We all mess up and make mistakes. And when we do, our pastors or leaders carry the sometimes unpleasant task of correcting us, and offering discipline.
When this happens, it feels like the end of the world. And sometimes your emotions want to rise up and get the best of you. But I have found the greatest way to stay in place and endure a storm of confrontation is to be easy to talk to about hard things.
Being easy to talk to is the number one way to build trust and longevity with your leader.
- Be open. Have an open heart to what is about to be shared with you. Sometimes our mistakes com from personal blind spots. You may not even see a need for confrontation coming.
- Don’t get defensive. This is the number one way we sabotage open communication from our leaders is to shut them down by becoming defensive. At this moment, it’s not about you being right – it’s about you listening.
- Listen, don’t speak. Take it all in. Prepare to walk away from the conversation without offering excuses or assigning blame. Hear what your leader is saying – it’s of vital importance.
- In differing opinions, seek to understand first. Don’t rush to judgement, or sacrifice your relationship with your leader on the altar of your opinion. See where they are coming from. They actually might be right!
- Respond with “Thank you for correcting me and making me better.” I thank Keith Craft for getting this into the DNA of our team. Thank those that correct you – they are doing you a big favor.
Remember, correction and discipline are a sign of love. Study this list now, so when the moment of confrontation arrives on your doorstep, you are ready to respond well and establish greater trust with your leader.