by Jonathan Cliff

I’ve worked for bullies that demanded trust. I’ve worked for weaklings that demanded trust. I’ve worked for very few that legitimately worked to build my trust in them. Trust, like loyalty, is a two way street that oftentimes people are driving three cars down the wrong lane, headed in the entirely wrong direction.

As a leader, one has to think of trust as something built not won in the lottery. It’s done in so many different ways.

Show people that you care about them. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Is that saying cliche? Yes. Is that saying correct? Yes.

Take an interest in people beyond where you currently know them. Don’t intrude into somebodies private lives, but it’s all right to ask about their kids, or their kids baseball teams. Go ahead and ask!

Let people know that you’re interested in their success and future. It so often goes without saying, but if we’re leading other people we have to be that person in their life that genuinely cares if they succeed.

When mistakes are made, don’t respond in anger. Instead, calmly explain the situation and why their actions are troublesome. When people know you aren’t going to make them walk the plank, they’re much more likely to listen to you describe what you expect in the future.

When people know that you have their best interests at heart, they’re going to trust you.

Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Jonathan Cliff is the director of family ministries at Athens Church, a North Point Strategic Partner, in Athens, Georgia. At Athens Church, Jonathan leads a great team of leaders reaching preschoolers, children and students. He is a huge advocate for families and believes that the family can be God’s primary way of reaching the world that they live in. Jonathan and his wife, Starr, have a full house with two sons, Ryan and Dylan, and one daughter, Lauryn. They have also served as foster parents for many kids over the years.

This post originally appeared here August 6, 2013. Used with permission from the author.