BSBFLM303 – Encourage Trust and Confidence

BSBFLM303 – Encourage Trust and Confidence


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Treat People with Integrity, Respect and Empathy

Trust Defined

Mutual trust is a shared belief that you can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose. A more comprehensive definition is that trust is the willingness of a party (also known as the trustor) to be vulnerable to the actions of another party (trustee) based on the expectation that the trustee will perform an action important to the trustor, regardless of the trustor’s ability to monitor or control the trustee.

People sense how you feel about them. If you want to change their attitudes toward you, change the negative attitudes you have toward them. Building relationships requires the building of trust. Trust is the expectancy of people that they can rely on your word. It is built through integrity and consistency in relationships.

Assessing the Trust Level

To assess the trust level you have with someone, you can use this simple tool: look at a relationship in terms of an ‘emotional bank account’, or how much credit (or debit) of goodwill existed between you two. Trust has an important link with your organisational success.

Trust elevates levels of commitment and sustains effort and performance without the need for management controls and close monitoring. Trust between a manager and an employee is based on the trustor’s perception of the trustee’s ability, benevolence, and integrity.

Building Trust by Acting Consistently
  • Exhibiting consistency in behaviour is an incredibly potent force because it conditions your prospect to trust you.
  • We only trust strangers when they’ve established a consistent pattern of behaviour.
  • Make a decision and stick with it, because projecting that you’re consistent in your behaviour is the most potent persuasion factor you have going for you


Building Trust: Behavioural Attributes
  • Sharing important information, especially about oneself.
  • Willingness to be influenced
  • Avoiding the abuse of team-members’ vulnerability (because of their inadequate access to information or lack of positional power.)
  • Being fair
  • Fulfilling promises

Trust as a Source of Competitive Advantage

Trust-based working relationships are an essential source of your sustainable competitive advantage because trust is valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable, and often non-substitutable. The level of trust a leader can garner from their followers is contingent upon the follower’s perceptions of the leader’s ability, benevolence, and integrity.

A study that was conducted to determine whether trust could be a source of competitive advantage showed that trust is significantly related to sales, profits, and turnover. More broadly, the study concluded that the ability of a general manager to earn higher trust from their followers probably does create a competitive advantage for a firm over its rivals.

Building Trust Across Cultural Boundaries

Unfortunately, building trust with people from different cultures can prove to be slightly more complicated. This is mainly because quite often the methods used to gain trust revolve around communication, conflict management and building rapport. Unfortunately, if there are different cultures you are working with, there is more likelihood of communication difficulties, conflicts arising and challenges in building up rapport.

Think about how you build trust with your bosses right now. Your manager probably gets to trust you if you demonstrate a high level of performance which they feel happy with. You have delivered what you needed to deliver, met the deadline and exceeded performance.

However, in some countries, more than this is needed. Trust is built only through a strong relationship – you may need to spend time out personally with people, having a meal, discussing things, sharing things in common – before trust can be built. This is particularly true of Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, for example.

This means that it is quite challenging to build trust in a team consisting of many different cultures simply because expectations are quite different depending on who is involved. This means that you need to learn about your team members and find out what they need to feel trust and work with each team member in a different way where possible.

Encourage Effective Relationships Within the Framework of the Organisation’s Social, Ethical and Business Standards

The organisation’s social, ethical and business standards will clearly convey the expectations of the organisation concerning how people treat each other.

These may refer to:

  • Implied standards such as honesty and respect relative to the organisation culture and generally accepted within the wider community
  • Rewards and recognition for high performing staff
  • Standards expressed in legislation and regulations such as anti-discrimination legislation
  • Written standards such as those expressed in:
    • Vision and mission statements
    • Policies
    • Code of workplace conduct/behaviour
    • Dress code.
  • Statement of workplace values.

These standards must be observed by all employees.

Rapport – The Key To Building Trust

We mentioned previously that trust is often built through rapport. It is built when you have two people who exist on the same wave-length. They understand each other and know what each other wants from the working relationship that they have.

This can prove difficult when each member of your team wants something different – building rapport with everyone can prove to be problematic. However, by understanding those around you, you can develop methods for really getting to know everyone in your team and getting them to trust and like you.

Building rapport with people helps them trust you more and builds effective working relationships.

Gaining Trust and Respect
  • Always listen to everything that your employees have to say
  • Treat your employees well, they should be partners in your organisation
  • Be polite
  • When an employee does something well, recognise it
  • Allow your employees to provide input into how things are done
  • Allow your employees to feel empowered in their work by giving them more responsibility
  • Treat them fairly and equally
  • When making decisions, always be firm
  • Admit mistakes, never hide from them


Gain and Maintain the Trust and Confidence of Colleagues, Customers and Suppliers through Competent Performance

Adjust Interpersonal Styles and Methods in Relation to the Organisation’s Social and Cultural Environment

As a representative of your organisation, you must gain the trust and confidence of many others on a professional level.

These could include:

  • Employees at the same level and more senior managers
  • Internal and external contacts
  • People from a wide variety of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds
  • Team members.

A team without trust isn’t really a team: it’s just a group of individuals, working together, often making disappointing progress. They may not share information, they might battle over rights and responsibilities, and they may not co-operate with one another. It doesn’t matter how capable or talented your people are, they may never reach their full potential if trust isn’t present.

However, when trust is in place, everyone in the team becomes stronger, because he or she is part of an effective, cohesive group. When people trust one another, the group can achieve significant goals. They have confidence in one another and are more willing to rely on each other.

Trust means that you rely on someone else to do the right thing. You believe in the person’s integrity and strength, to the extent that you’re able to put yourself on the line, at some risk to yourself.

Trust is essential to an effective team because it provides a sense of safety. When your team members feel safe with each other, they feel comfortable to open up, take appropriate risks and expose vulnerabilities.

Without trust, there’s less innovation, collaboration, creative thinking, and productivity, and people spend their time protecting themselves and their interests – this is time that should be spent helping the group attain its goals.

Strategies for Building Trust

  • Lead by Example

If you want to build trust within your team, then lead by example, and show your people that you trust others. This means trusting your team, your colleagues and your boss. Never forget that your team members are always watching and taking cues from you – take the opportunity to show them what trust in others really looks like.

  • Communicate Openly

Open communication is essential for building trust. You need to get everyone on your team talking to one another in an honest, meaningful way, and you can use several strategies to accomplish this.

Communicate effectively and well. Some of the types of interpersonal communication that are commonly used within a business organisation include staff meetings, formal project discussions, employee performance reviews and informal chats. Interpersonal communication with those outside of the business organisation can take a variety of forms as well, including client meetings, employment interviews or sales visits.

Unfortunately, errors can be introduced during any phase of the communication process. For example, misunderstandings can occur when the sender does not possess a clear idea of the message he or she is trying to communicate or has a clear idea but is not able to express it well.

Errors in the process can also occur when the receiver does not listen carefully, infers a different meaning than what was intended by the sender or fails to provide feedback. Ultimately, unclear, inaccurate or inconsiderate business communication can waste valuable time, alienate employees or customers and destroy goodwill toward management or the overall business.

In general terms, interpersonal communication can be classified as either one-way or two-way. One-way communication occurs when the sender transmits information in the form of direction, without any expectation of discussion or feedback.

For example, a manager may stop by an employee’s desk to inform them that a certain project will be due the following day. One-way communication is faster and easier for the sender because they do not have to deal with potential questions or disagreement from the receiver, but it tends to be overused in business situations.

In contrast, two-way communication involves the sharing of information between two or more parties in a constructive exchange. For example, a manager may hold a staff meeting to establish the due dates for several projects.

Engaging in two-way communication indicates that the sender is receptive to feedback and willing to provide a response. Although it is more difficult and time-consuming for the sender than one-way communication, it tends to enable a clearer communications exchange by involving both parties.

In addition to being classified as one-way or two-way, interpersonal communication can also be broken down into a variety of styles, or specialised sets of behaviours.

A good communicator realises that some styles are more effective than others in certain situations.

○ Controlling

The controlling style is a form of one-way communication that is used to direct others and gain their compliance. Using this style usually means they do not want feedback and tend to employ power and even manipulation to reinforce their message. Although the controlling style can be effective when it is used on occasion by respected individuals, particularly in times of crisis, it can also alienate others.

○ Egalitarian

In contrast, the egalitarian style is a form of two-way communication that involves sharing information rather than directing behaviour. It is used to stimulate others to express their ideas and opinions to reach a mutual understanding. In most situations, particularly when cooperation is needed, it is more effective than the controlling style.

○ Structuring

The structuring style of interpersonal communication is used to establish schedules or impose organisation. Using this style would be likely to include citing organisational standards or rules. Though the structuring style may be necessary to inform others of goals or procedures when complex tasks must be performed by a group, it should usually be counterbalanced with the egalitarian style.

○ Dynamic

The dynamic style is a high-energy approach that uses inspirational pleas to motivate another person to act. This style can be useful in crisis situations, but it is generally ineffective when the receivers do not have enough knowledge or experience to take the required action.


The relinquishing style of interpersonal communication is deferential rather than directive. It is highly receptive to the ideas of others, to the point of shifting responsibility for communication to the receiver. For example, this style might be used to allow staff to discuss and develop the final solution to a problem while making little comment. This style is particularly useful when the receivers have the knowledge, experience and willingness to assume responsibility.

○ Withdrawal

The withdrawal style is more like a lack of communication. This style is often used to try to avoid using influence and may indicate disinterest or unwillingness to participate in the discussion.
Finally, an often-overlooked element of interpersonal communication is being a good receiver, which involves developing listening skills. Good listening skills can be vital in finding a solution to grievances or making successful sales calls.

Listening involves showing an interest in the speaker, concentrating on the message, and asking questions to ensure understanding. One useful listening technique is reflection or attempting to repeat and clarify the other person’s message rather than immediately responding to it with a message of your own. Used correctly, reflection can allow others to view issues from all other employees’ point of view.

Some other keys to effective listening include: keeping an open mind rather than allowing emotions to intervene; finding a part of the subject that may have application to your own experience; and resisting distractions such as the speaker’s mannerisms or clothing. It also helps to be prepared for the discussion, to take notes as needed, and to summarise the speaker’s statements.

Why not create a team charter to define the purpose of the team, as well as each person’s role, understanding of the work and communication standards required? Present this charter at a team meeting, and encourage each team member to ask questions, and discuss their expectations.

  • Deliver What and When as Agreed

Building and retaining trust and having others know they can rely on your takes work. Do what you say you will do when you have agreed to do it. Let others know if there will be delays.

Key Points

  • You should always aim to treat others with integrity, respect and empathy.
  • When you work to develop effective working relationships, it is essential that you use as a framework for your methods the organisation’s social, ethical and business standards.
  • Your organisation’s social and cultural environment will dictate the interpersonal styles and methods that are appropriate for you to use in your undertakings.
  • Trust and confidence can often be gained through competent performance on your part.