My colleagues and I at The Latimer Group speak frequently with clients about the need for credibility in the workplace. Credibility makes everything else possible. When you have credibility, nothing else matters. When you don’t have credibility, nothing else matters. Credibility is the “key to the castle.” so to speak, in the workplace.
When you are in a meeting with your colleagues, and you make a recommendation, or ask for support, or propose a strategy, credibility will make the difference between hearing “yes” or “no.” In many situations, there will be some people who will agree with you, no matter what. And there will be some people who will disagree with you, no matter what. And there will be a whole bunch of people who are “undecideds” and will make their decision based on the merits of the discussion, and influenced by you.
So how do you build credibility? You build credibility, every single day, in lots of ways. You build it based on the way you deal with people, whether you meet deadlines, or whether you do what you promise to do. You build it based on whether you are easy to deal with, how you give and receive feedback. You build it by the way you listen, the way you engage in meetings, and whether you treat people with respect. You create or reduce your credibility, every single day by all the little things you do in the workplace.
Persuasive communication is about more than just technique and skill. You can master all the communication techniques on the planet, but if you lack credibility, those techniques won’t get you very far.
So, if you want to a better and more successful communicator, spend some time taking a hard look in the figurative mirror. Ask yourself if you have enough credibility among your colleagues. And then ask yourself the critical question… what can you do today, to build more credibility? Focus on the behaviors that will get you where you think you need to be.
And finally be patient. Building credibility takes time.