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Are You Credible?

by David Brock on July 13th, 2022

Credibility is critical to our ability to engage people, incite them to think differently, and drive change. Regardless of our role, credibility is critical. Whether with our customers, our business partners, our people, peers, our managers, our communities. If we have no credibility with our intended audience, we can achieve nothing. We seek to be credible because it is an important element of trust and our ability to influence others.

Too often, we focus on “symbols” of credibility, rather than being credible. It may be our job title, the company we work for, the companies we have worked for, our reference customers, our brand, our deep knowledge or expertise or experience, our earnings, our “big deals.” While some of these may be elements of establishing credibility, they don’t make us credible–individually or collectively.

Excuse the doublespeak, credibility is not something we declare, for example, “I’m credible because of…,” rather it’s something others bestow on us. They think of us as credible.

And others bestow credibility on us, based on the things we do, the things we believe, the things we stand for, and the things we don’t do, believe or stand for. Stated differently, we earn credibility. We build credibility by doing the things that create meaning for those with whom we want to be credible.

There are endless posts and books on building credibility. I tend to like Covey’s principles of credibility as a starting point: Integrity, Intent, Capability, Results.

There are lots of, sometimes, useful descriptors of each of these, like: Meeting your commitments, Walking the talk, Doing the right things/doing things right, Caring, Empathy, Doing the work well, Accepting responsibility and behaving responsibly, continuing to learn/develop/adapt, Producing the desired results, Being accountable/responsible, Being “other centered” rather than self centered, Being interested, Being confident, Being open, Being authentic. And we can go on and on with descriptors, but you get the point (if you don’t, Google “Credibility.”)

These are all about who we are, what we believe, our sense of purpose/mission, our values.

Without credibility, we have nothing.

From → Leadership

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