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Accounting BSBLDR402-Developing Trust and Confidence as a Leader

You have recently taken over a small team.  This is your first role as a team leader and you have been warned by the previous manager that one of your team, Suzie, can be difficult.  She a woman in her mid-fifties, has been working in the same role for a number of years, and has applied for the leadership role twice but has been passed over both times.  The outgoing manager tells you that he suspects that she will not take well to having you as her new supervisor, particularly given your relative youth.

You spend the first two weeks settling in and during this time Suzie is quiet; works solidly; hands her work in on time and is respectful.  One thing you have noticed is she is sometimes late to work and does not provide any explanation. Her lack of punctuality is relatively minor (she is never more than 10 minutes late) so you ignore it.  However there are a number of changes that need to be made to operations and when you explain these to the team, everyone but Suzie participates in the discussion. You know that you cannot ignore this or allow Suzie to undermine the necessary changes. You decide to take the evening to consider what you should do.

Question 1:

On consideration, what are some possible reasons behind Suzie’s behaviour and response to the changes?

Previous bullying by a team leader: Suzie may have been bullied or harassed by a previous manager and may feel that she is not part of the team, and she may lack confidence.

Discrimination: She may feel that she has been discriminated against due to her sex or age due to the fact that she had applied for the leadership role twice and had been passed over both times.

Trust and communication: There may have been trust and communication issues within the team and also between Suzie and her previous manager.

Team cohesion: Within the team it may have been an issue previously where all team members have not been valued and understood.

Question 2:

What is the likely impact of Suzie’s label as ‘difficult’ in this situation?

With the “difficult” label already attached to Suzie this may cause myself as the new team leader to make untrue assessments on Suzie’s work ethics, teamwork, job capabilities – thus is causes poor expectations about the person and as a leader you are more likely to interpret their actions as negative, have string emotional reactions to them, treat them abruptly and expect less from them. As a new team leader it is important not to make an assessment on Suzie if you have not worked with or communicated with her, a good leader will not listen to another person’s perception of a team member. It is important for a good leader to make their own assessment of a team member and ensure that the team work as a unit.

Question 3:

What are Suzie’s possible concerns and what might she need from you?

Suzie may be concerned that she will be discriminated against due to her age, sex or previous interaction with the team leader. It is important to build trust and cohesion within the team. This also means that Suzie may need more confidence and trust in me as a team leader. It is important to ensure that the appropriate communication channels are open between me and Suzie to ensure we build a good working relationship. It is always recommended to speak to an employee in private about any concerns they may have or about any issued that may be causing certain behaviours. It is important for Suzie to know that the team leader can be trusted and that she is not discriminated against due to her age, etc.

Question 4:

After considering the situation, how will you now approach Suzie about the changes?


This project is designed to assess your overall ability to lead effective workplace relations. Your answers should provide evidence of your ability to:

  • Collect, analyse and communicate information and ideas
  • Develop trust and confidence as a leader
  • Develop and maintain networks and relationships
  • Manage difficulties into positive outcomes


You have noticed that there seems to be a lot of antagonism between your telesales team and the sales administration group.  You have worked hard on building your team spirit and they are now top performers, enjoying their work and having lots of fun in the process.

However the sales administration team that handle the orders and bill customers are becoming belligerent, in particular “going slow” on orders from Joe, your star performer.

As an initial step you decided to ask the sales admin. team leader out for a coffee to discuss it, and explore what you and she might be able to do together to ease the situation.  However you were taken aback when her response was, “How can you expect us to get our work done when your team is so noisy.  You always seem to be having parties, and we just can’t concentrate. Not only that, you seem to think we are your slaves.  How can you help? Just back off and let us do our work – and keep Joe out of our hair. He acts like a real prima Donna and we are tired of it.”

Task 1

Develop a conflict resolution strategy using the four step process suggested in your learning guide. Be as specific as possible as to the steps you will take, when you will take them and how.

Place your answer here and add extra pages as necessary. As a guide, your answer should be about 750 words in length and should be presented in a report format using appropriate headings and sub-headings.

Task 2

Identify people in your network both within and outside the workplace who could assist with this process.  Explain what information or help you would be seeking from each.

  1. ………………………….
  2. ………………………….
  3. ………………………….
  4. ………………………….

Task 3

Provide three suggestions you would make to your staff that would help ameliorate the conflict immediately and foster more respectful communications.

  1. ………………………….
  2. ………………………….
  3. ………………………….

Task 4

Reflect on what you might have done differently, or better, to prevent this conflict developing.

  1. ………………………….
  2. ………………………….
  3. ………………………….
  4. ………………………….

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