Are you building credibility in your professional life?
Whether you’re corporate or entrepreneurial, credibility is critical for success. We’re familiar with credibility in our roles as purchasers, consumers and customers. We gravitate toward those restaurants with rave reviews and writeups in trendy publications. We ask hairdressers what products they recommend. We seek the advice of credible sources and purchase from tradespeople who have come recommended.
In the craziness of everyday life, it is easy to forget that each of us is not only an evaluator, but also being evaluated. Your credibility is dependent on your integrity and your track record of interactions with others. Your actions create impressions, and those impressions persist.
Building credibility is a never ending process. It is the sum total of your actions and interactions, and key to leadership. A lack of credibility can stutter or halt your career. How credible are you? Check yourself on the following ten questions.
Building Credibility: A Quiz
- Do you do what you say? This is the first and most critical question. Is your word good? Do you keep promises, agreements and commitments? “It slipped my mind,” or “I was just about to do it,” are not acceptable responses.
- Do you know your stuff? Building credibility is impossible if you are in over your head. If you have gaps in your knowledge or skill base, take steps to address these. Leave the fear of exposure behind.
- Do you know what you don’t know? Even the most competient employee, leader or manager doesn’t know everything. Build your credibility by respecting the expertise and asking the advice of fellow professionals.
- Are you always right? No one is, not even you. You may convince yourself of your infallability, but others will immediately discount your credibility.
- Do you blame others when things go wrong, but take the credit when things go right? Examine your track record. Build credibility. Take your full share of blame, and be generous with the credit.
- Does your language overflow with superlatives? If you’re constantly gushing about “the most amazing” or “unbelievable” or “ultimate,” you’re undermining your credibility. Don’t sound like a pushy salesperson.
- Do you change your story often? Do you often claim you were misunderstood? Building credibility depends on consistency. Be clear, be consistent.
- Do you use the justification, “Everybody does it?” That rationale lacks integrity and destroys credibility.
- How do you respond when challenged? Do you become outraged, or do you consider the challenge and respond thoughfully? Increase credibility by honestly evaluating and appreciating opposing viewpoints.
- Do you dodge direct questions? A credible person gives direct answers to direct questions. A rambling response avoiding the question suggests incompetence and undermines credibility.
Building credibility is not rocket science. It is the outcome of integrity, competence and honesty. Guard your credibility and position yourself for career growth.