Putting Trust in the Gap

I’m a huge fan of Andy Stanley’s Leadership podcast. One of my all-time favorite episodes is on “Trust vs. Suspicion.” Our church leaders have listened to this episode more than once and it has guided our organizational health perhaps more than any other principal.

The primary reality is this:

There are often unexplainable gaps between what we expect people to do and what they actually do.

For instance, say a co-worker or church member said they’d do something and he didn’t do it. We see the what – he dropped the ball – but we don’t know the why. There’s an unexplained gap that we have to fill in.

What we place in the “gap” will either tear down or build up the relationship. 

“He didn’t get it done because he’s unreliable or incompetent.”

“He obviously doesn’t care.”

We have to place something in the gap between what they said and what they actually did and so often what we place in the gap is suspicion or criticism. We assign motive to behavior. 

That is dangerous and destructive to any relationship.

If you want to build up your relationships – whether it’s work, family, friendships, or marriage – and not tear them down, then you have to place something else in the gap: TRUST. 

TRUST is the primary currency of healthy relationships.

“You said you would get it done, but you didn’t. I’m going to trust that there’s a good reason for that.”

At least until you have all of the information.

When you choose to put trust in the gap instead of suspicion, you build each other up. Quite simply, you can get more done more quickly, efficiently, and effectively when trust is the modus operandi. In a culture of trust, everyone wins!

Now, imagine if you applied this to ALL of your relationships.


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