The Hidden Key to Building Credibility

Let’s talk about building credibility… real credibility. Not the short term version of credibility that comes from a referral or a common friendship or the personal courtesy of someone giving you a chance. No… let’s talk about the long-term credibility that is built by you, your actions and your performance.

Real credibility is created in many ways, almost all of them based on your behaviors and results. But one of the most powerful ways to build credibility comes from the simplest of things: how you treat people and the way you show up. I have written about this before, but it popped into my head again last week, during a conversation during a workshop with one of our biggest clients. One of the people in the workshop asked me about building credibility. This person was new to the organization, and since I had been teaching workshops there for a while, and had some really good relationships, the question was posed to me. “How do I make myself credible here?”.

My answer started with all the standard answers you would expect… show up on time… do a good job… work hard… deliver results. All of that is totally true. You can’t hide or “nice” your way out of bad performance for very long.

But then my answer got more nuanced, and the conversation took a good turn. We started talking about building relationships, making sure people feel heard by you, treating people well, offering a helping hand when one is needed… In other words, the first part of my answer was based on performance. The second part of my answer was based on behavior towards others. And this is the part of the credibility discussion that people often miss. I hear a lot of people say the words about treating people “with respect.” But I see fewer people actually doing it.

At the end of the day, at work and at home, we all react and remember how we are treated. And when we are treated well and respectfully, we are likely to want to return that feeling in kind.

My colleagues and I can fill up your tool box with all sorts of techniques, frameworks and plans. And we do that really well. But those skills are never going to be a replacement for the way you make the people around you feel.

Be respectful. Listen. Help out whenever possible. Give a word of encouragement when one is needed. Be genuine. Don’t be the office gossip.

All of these things will make you more valuable and respected and just a nicer person. And with that, comes credibility. In addition, if you also have the requisite communication tools and skills, then there will be nothing stopping you.

Good luck!

We believe that great communication skills change the world. We transform people and organizations of all sizes with simple, repeatable techniques, through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and asynchronous learning.

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Corporation’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.