If I were to ask you to define ‘credibility’ you might say something along the lines of “I know it when I see it”, just like you know you ‘like’ someone. It’s a hard one because it’s such a subjective term but don’t dismiss the importance of ‘having credibility’ in your chosen area of expertise because credibility is positively correlated to success in every area of life.
Credibility is largely aligned with the perceived quality that people assign to you based on the combination of several factors, least of all their interactions with you. So how do we increase our credibility in the eyes of our peers and in those of our stakeholders?
Here’s a top 10 list of how you can increase your credibility (and because we’re high achievers let’s peg on one more!)
1. Figure out how to tell as much truth as possible, except where doing so would injure others.
2. Don’t tell lies, or even exaggerate. At all. Ever. Always remain true to your values.
3. Avoid saying things that others might construe as lies. Choose your words and terminology with care.
4. Speak with expression, not monotonically. Use body language, eye contact, and vocal range. Show your peers and stakeholders you have energy around the subject at hand. Speak and deliver your message with passion!
5. Don’t just cite references. Where it is genuinely possible to create mutual benefit, introduce your peers and stakeholders to others in the business; they will learn from each other, and you will have plenty of reflected credit in which to bask in.
6. When you don’t know, say so, quickly and directly. Always be honest about it and provide the reassurance that you will find out the information and get back to them by a certain time.
7. Yes it’s important to have them know your credentials. Just don’t get silly by having all those initials and certifications appear after your name on your business card.
8. Relax. You know much more than you think you know. If you don’t really belong there, then don’t put yourself there in the first place (unless you’re stretching yourself and growing into your role.)
9. Make sure you’ve done absolutely all your homework on the client company, the client marketplace, and the client individual, and that it’s absolutely up to the minute. You’ve got to know your stuff.
10. There’s no reason to show off. Play it cool and be measured.
11. Love your topic. It will show. Enthusiasm is contagious.
If you’d like to know more about how to achieve more in life or business, or if you’d like to explore how coaching can help you become a better leader (of others or yourself!), or even if you’re just generally curious about what professional coaching can offer you, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.
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