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  • Picture this: a businessperson.

  • What do you see?

  • A grey suit in an office job?

  • A former advertising agent who quit her job to be a freelance YouTuber?

  • Maybe you picture someone who looks like you.

  • Or maybe you don't.

  • But when it comes down to it -- everyone's a businessperson.

  • Like, have you ever decided on a chore schedule with roommates?

  • That's a negotiation.

  • Have you told someone about yourself on a first date? I know it's uncomfortable.

  • But, that's an elevator pitch.

  • Have you organized a bar crawl and made sure your friends all got home in one piece?

  • You've planned an event and held a management position.

  • So in this series, we're going to help you hone those day-to-day business skills, look

  • for a job, get along with your coworkers, and really take your career to the next level.

  • We're not turning you into a 'business robot.' I mean, do I look like a suite? No.

  • We want you to succeed on your own terms and identify what works best for you.

  • As they say in the business world, we're here to help youcapitalize on your core

  • competency” -- or use what makes you special to really strut your stuff!

  • And before anything else, we need to sit down and have a chat about trust.

  • I'm Evelyn from the Internets, and this is Crash Course Business: Soft Skills.

  • [Theme Music Plays]

  • Trust may seem like a basic idea, but it's actually a challenging and fundamental concept

  • like the bottom level of a business pyramid.

  • Not a pyramid scheme.

  • Trust forms the basis for your reputation, which is the foundation of working relationships,

  • promotions, and job offers.

  • Your decisions about whom to trust are affected by how confident you are in someone, as well

  • as what you know about them and your experiences with them.

  • How have they acted?

  • What have they said?

  • What kinds of decisions have they made?

  • If you're planning a road trip, who would you trust to navigate and also make a fire

  • playlist: Your best friend who you've gone to concerts with since high school, or her

  • roommate who blasts techno and wrecked his car last Tuesday?

  • When you trust someone with your AUX cord, your car, or your career dreams, you're

  • being vulnerable.

  • And when you start a new job, you're trusting that organization to treat you fairly as much

  • as they're trusting you to do the work.

  • Trust can also make or break professional relationships.

  • When a team is running smoothly, coworkers rely on one another to get their jobs done.

  • But if you don't trust someone, it can create an imbalance of work, or you might feel like

  • you have to double-check everything they do.

  • And that can make for a rough work environment.

  • Lack of trust can even close the door on opportunities.

  • If people don't see you as trustworthy, they won't want you on their team or suggest

  • you for that promotion.

  • So how do you decide who's trustworthy, and what can you do to make others trust you?

  • Now, I do not have all the answers.

  • But I can tell you that there are a few different kinds of trust, like cognitive,

  • dispositional, and emotional.

  • They all blend together to form a picture of how trustworthy someone actually is.

  • It's like a trust and reputation smoothie, y'all.

  • Trusting or not trusting someone for rational reasons is known as cognitive trust.

  • And what do you look for when you're analyzing a person's character?

  • It's elementary, my dear Watson.

  • You need evidence!

  • That's why it's important for your hard work to be seen by others.

  • Your reputation can't improve if people don't know what you've been up to.

  • To build up cognitive trust, you can focus on its three basic elements: competence, intent,

  • and integrity.

  • Let's imagine you're paying off those soul-crushing student loans and take up a

  • side-hustle at a local coffee shop.

  • [Too real?]

  • First up is competence -- are you capable of doing the things that your employer needs?

  • Can you make an extra-hot, double foam, non-fat caramel macchiato, with two pumps caramel

  • and one pump cinnamon dolce, in under 3 minutes flat?

  • Or are you going to give up during the morning rush and slap down a plain black coffee with

  • a misspelled name.

  • [It's Evelyn with a V and a Y.

  • Not Ellen or anything else.

  • I'm salty.]

  • If you want to build your competence, think about how to demonstrate what you can do,

  • hone your skills, and acknowledge your shortcomings so you can work on them.

  • Find new ways to showcase your work, or take classes to build skills -- like a workshop

  • on latte art.

  • And if you don't have the time or money to sign up for something official, you can

  • keep watching free educational content on YouTube.

  • Next up is intent -- are you looking out for others' interests, as well as your own?

  • Intent is sort of on a sliding scale.

  • You're generally not taking a job for incredibly pure or nefarious reasons.

  • Maybe you mainly just want to be able to pay rent.

  • And that's okay!

  • If your interests align with someone else's, you can work together.

  • Although one of you may be less invested.

  • So while you're probably not going to be begging your boss to explain how the coffee

  • beans are farmed, ground, and shipped, you can still demonstrate intent.

  • Show genuine concern for others, be tactful, and help your coworkers.

  • Chatting with them or doing favors like picking up an extra shift can help build your reputation.

  • Finally, there's integrity -- can you talk the talk and walk the walk?

  • Do you show up to your 5am shifts and open the store, make sure the tables are set, and

  • write the daily special with a pun on the chalkboard?

  • Or do you show up late and forget to spell-checkfrappuccino”?

  • It's okay, it's hard.

  • Remember that consistency matters.

  • Doing an amazing job 90% of the time and falling flat 10% of the time is sometimes worse than

  • doing an acceptable job all the time.

  • Little mistakes can make a big impact on your integrity, so follow through with what you

  • say you're going to do.

  • A helpful trick is under-promising and over-delivering.

  • If you've ever started something last-minute, you'll know that it takes longer than

  • you expect to get things done.

  • So manage your time wisely, and don't deliver half-baked work or miss your deadlines.

  • It kills cognitive trust.

  • These three parts of cognitive trust are like the legs of a tripod.

  • If one's missing, trust collapses and you've got a mess on your hands.

  • But just because you've done your best to make sure your tripod can stand on its

  • own, doesn't mean you'll immediately earn someone's trust.

  • Like we mentioned earlier, cognitive trust is only one ingredient in this trust smoothie

  • -- although it's a big one.

  • There's also dispositional trust: a person's baseline level of trust in others.

  • Some people will trust you automatically, while others take a bit more time and evidence.

  • To see what I mean, let's go to the Thought Bubble!

  • Imagine you've just joined a fashion magazine as a junior assistant to the editor-in-chief,

  • and you don't know if you're meeting her expectations.

  • Your boss is hard to read, and she keeps giving you menial work like picking up her dry cleaning.

  • You want to help out with the fall fashion show in Paris, but you're not sure she trusts

  • you enough.

  • So let's go back to our tripod.

  • You were hired with a gleaming resume and great recommendations, and show up with her

  • coffee in hand every morning -- so you're obviously competent.

  • You care about the magazine's reputation and applied because you love writing, so your

  • intent is good.

  • And you've shown this intent by protecting your boss from embarrassment at charity functions.

  • Despite her doubts, you consistently achieve her impossible last-minute demands, like a

  • signed first edition of The Deathly Hallows.

  • And that shows some stellar integrity.

  • So what gives?

  • Well, your boss may just have low dispositional trust.

  • Like we said, trust involves vulnerability, which involves risk.

  • So dispositional trust is tied to an idea called risk aversion -- or how much you avoid

  • risks.

  • It's not particularly bad to have high or low risk aversion.

  • But, like anything, there needs to be balance.

  • Having high risk aversion can protect you from being exploited, but too much can stunt

  • your relationships.

  • And having low risk aversion may open up more opportunities, but if you're too trusting

  • you could easily be taken advantage of.

  • So, your boss might think that taking a chance on a journalist fresh out of college is an

  • uncomfortably high risk, and have low dispositional trust.

  • And you just have to try not to take it personally and give it time.

  • Be conscious of how others perceive your actions, do your job well and consistently, and build

  • your reputation.

  • You don't need to overwork yourself -- work smart, not just hard.

  • And if you can go above and beyond by getting ahead of deadlines, that's great!

  • Before you know it, you'll be helping with the next big project.

  • Thanks, Thought Bubble!

  • Now, let's say you're great at your current job.

  • You've shown competence, intent, integrity and jumped over dispositional trust hurdles

  • to build your reputation.

  • That doesn't mean you'll be trusted in every situation.

  • Trust also depends on the circumstance.

  • A competence mismatch is when someone may trust your skills in one area, but not others.

  • For example, you might trust an actor to deliver high-quality entertainment.

  • But no matter how well they played a loveable but crotchety E.R. doctor, you wouldn't

  • trust them with your knee surgery.

  • An intent mismatch is if you might help someone in one way, but not others.

  • Like, you might ask the English major down the hall who roots for a rival basketball

  • team to read over your essay.

  • But you're not going to ask her to seed your picks for March Madness.

  • Building trust in all these ways can take years of time and effort, so it's important

  • to protect your reputation and act professionally in all your jobs.

  • Treat others with R-E-S-P-E-C-T, hold yourself to high standards, and think about how your

  • actions will be perceived.

  • But it's okay to make mistakes.

  • We've all shown up late to work some point, or had to ask for an extension on a deadline.