Trust the Process

By Brandon Bowers

Among the many clichés that get tossed around in our culture, I’m confident you’d agree that one of the most popular is the phrase “trust the process.” An up-and-coming athlete gets benched while trying to improve. A grad student must take internships before taking in any income. A broken relationship is advised to commit to counseling in order to get better. “Trust the process,” they say. However, what happens when you don’t trust the process? What happens when the process doesn’t make sense? As a leader, how can you create a process that is worthy of being trusted?

When I first started in ministry, I was at an entry-level position at a large megachurch. While I was not clear about the “process” it would take for me to advance and grow in my leadership, I went along for the ride and led to the best of my ability. The process was not visible, did not involve my voice, and gave me no tangible signs of victory to let me know if I were progressing as a leader. So, as you lead and establish processes for the people you are developing, let me advise the following that will help create trust along the way:

1. Create visibility.

In the same way that a scoreboard reflects stats and progress at a ball game, it is important to create a visible process for the people involved. Where there is no visibility, there is little trust and buy-in. Visibility allows for the proper things to be put in focus as development takes place. Write it down, hang it on the wall, and make it so clear that each step is outlined along the way.

2. Give people a voice.

People are more committed to buying in to a plan that they have a voice in creating. It gives them a sense of ownership. If allowing people a voice into their process of development creates insecurity in you as a leader, that may be a problem. By allowing the people you lead to have a voice in the process, you will undoubtedly create unity and alignment. You will see that people will also be more committed to trusting you as their leader and trusting the process you create. Seek agreement on action steps and allow them to be part of their own solutions.

3. Create signs of victory.

People like to be celebrated. They like reaching milestones. They like winning. Victory feels good for everyone. As the process is being carried out, trust will be built while victory is attained. When each step is accomplished, celebrate. As milestones are achieved, celebrate. When you reach goals, celebrate. Help the people on your team feel the momentum of victory. They will trust the process more as they feel it benefiting them along the way.

As a leader, it is important that we do everything possible to create trust on our teams and with our people. Trust is the foundation upon which everything else is built. By creating visibility, welcoming voices, and celebrating victory, people will begin to trust the process. After all, it’s the people who will work the process. That process will strengthen the people involved and that strength will benefit the team as a whole.

 

Brandon Bowers serves as Lead Pastor of Awaken Church in Charleston, S.C. This article first appeared on his website, www.brandonbowers.cc. Follow Brandon on Twitter @_Bbowers.