BCS is unique in focusing on trust as the fulcrum of sustainable, mutually-beneficial relationships between communities and companies where they live and work. By making trust-building the basis for engagement, BCS creates conditions under which mutually-beneficial relationships can be developed and sustained. A foundation of trust between a company and a community increases the likelihood that negotiations will be informed, responsive, transparent, and lead to a social license to operate. Building trust is an evolving process of communication and action. The pathway to building trust begins with shared understanding, hearing the other party’s perspective. The next step is for the parties to accept the legitimacy and value of other perspectives, despite potential disagreement. The third and final step, power sharing, is achieved through joint action with shared responsibility and accountability. To learn more on the impact of Community-Company Engagement, in particular in the extractive industries, read the summary note LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD: CORPORATE-COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES.
The below image illustrates this multi-phase process of reducing risk and building trust