Who do you trust? Family? Friends? No-one?
It can be heard to trust people. Sometimes we’ve been hurt so much we can’t build relationships where we depend on people anymore. As leaders and team members building an NWC, we have to learn to trust each other. Others we won’t be able to work together or challenge each other or stick to our goals. Ultimately, without trust, armies fall apart, relationships breakdown and we struggle to do anything together.
So how do you build trust in a team? Try the exercise below, or look at some of the key components of it and take what is useful for your group.
Team Exercise: Sharing Your Story
Building trust is about more than talking, its about sharing something. The root of some of our strongest emotions, such as shame, are based within our fear that the group will reject us, that we will end up alone and therefore in danger. For probably as long as there have been humans, eating together has been a way of forming social bonds which challenge these fundamental fears and make us feel loved and safe.
Step One: Cook each other a meal. If you cooked last time, give others the opportunity to. Sometimes trusting others can be about letting them serve you.
Step Two: Pray together at the beginning of the meal - take a look at the Peacemeal liturgies in the worship and prayer section for creative ideas here.
Step Three: Find a wooden spoon. Go round and for about three minutes each in the team about how you became a Christian. When you are talking you hold the spoon, when you have finished pass the spoon along. It can be easy in these discussion to want to give advice if something shared is vulnerable or complicated. Resist that urge. No one should share advice in this part. When someone has finished speaking, as a group say together: ‘we hear you, friend’ and move on. This is an opportunity to share briefly something about yourselves. When someone else is talking listen.
Step Four: Either on the same occasion or another, do the same exercise but with a different question; such as, what has been your experience of church or church leadership - the latter can be a great chance for people to share how they have ended up a team like yours.
Step Five: Pray a simple prayer that everyone that shared will enjoy being part of the team and grow in faith through it.
Step Six: Move on to a less vulnerable task like planning something. It is good to vary the pace and let people know (without saying it) that they are accepted for who they are, whatever the stories they have shared.